Dragons Stumble in Third
The Drumheller Dragons who’ve been sandaled with injuries for the last several weeks hosted the Spruce Grove Saints on Friday night. The Dragons would have to step up and pull together against the Saints (first place team in the AJHL) and they did just that for two periods in front of a great hometown crowd, also the largest this season.
Spruce Grove came out strong and would take the lead early but moments later Dragons Levi Wunder would tie the game at one. Both teams played hard and it was a very fast and intense game with the momentum changing every minute but the Saints once again would take the lead. Seconds later Dragons Avery Belcourt, who was playing his second game of the season as an affiliate, would get the first goal of his Junior career on a blast from the point to tie the game at 2.
The second period was a game of power plays vs penalty kills as both teams would have great opportunities. It would be Clint Filbrandt who would score the lone goal in the second to give the Dragons a 1 goal lead after 2 periods. Drumheller could have had at least 1 more but after the third goal Spruce Grove pulled their starter and the Saints goalie made several key saves.
Third period is where the Dragons made several critical mistakes and were caught back on their heels as the Saints would capitalize and score 3 to take a 5-3 victory.
Coach Curran,” It is easy to see why they are as good as they are. They wait for the other team to make mistakes and they make you pay. We had the lead and we played like we were behind. Instead of making good decisions at the lines we forced the game. They’re a solid team all around and for 2 periods we did a lot of things very well and that was encouraging and although we didn't win we are certainly heading in the right direction.”
Dragons Struggle and Bandits Make Them Pay
In their second game of the weekend the Dragons travelled to Brooks to face-off against the first place team of the South. For the most part over the past few seasons Drumheller have played well against the Bandits at home however have appeared to struggle on Brooks’ home ice. Their last game in Brooks ended in a loss in a shoot-out while the game before at home the Bandits would take the win, the Dragons trailing by one goal.
The Dragons struggled Saturday night, the loss of 4 of their starters due to injury and one serving his last game of suspension would result in Curran calling up 4 affiliates to the game and although they gave it their all, the loss of five key players took its toll.
In the first several minutes it looked like both teams were still asleep from games the night before and the pace was slow but the Bandits would get on the board and from that point on would control the game. On this night there would be no question who the better team was.
Coach Curran,” For whatever reason tonight we did not come here to play. We played a tough game the night before and so did Brooks and honestly I thought after the first few shifts that both teams were struggling but then they scored a couple and we didn't show that fight back that we have been the last couple months. We got our butts handed to us tonight and that's a fact. We have been playing so much better the last 2 months and we will put this game behind us and move forward.”
Drumheller Dragons travel to Lloydminister Wednesday, February 10th. Puck drops at 7:30pm.
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