After finishing main camp on August 28, the Drumheller Dragons went on the road last Wednesday to play in Okotoks for a three-game exhibition tournament that included contests against the Okotoks Oilers and both Calgary teams.
The Dragons would like to thank the Oilers organization and all their staff for putting on a very well-run tournament.
In their first game on Wednesday, the Dragons faced the Calgary Mustangs and won that contest 5-2. “It was a solid game all around and the boys played hard,” said Dragons head coach Brian Curran. “With a young team we established a fast pace right from the start and, except for several minutes throughout the game, we played with intensity. It was a good start to our exhibition season,” added Curran.
The Dragons second game took place on Thursday as they faced the Calgary Canucks and fell 5-2. The Dragons came out strong for the first 5 minutes, but took a penalty and Calgary quickly made it 1-0 which set the Dragons back early. “We started off well and then seemed to take our foot off the pedal once the Canucks scored their first goal,” said Curran. “Although we put in a very young lineup I didn't see the leadership I thought I was going to see and from that point on we were chasing the Canucks around for most of the game. It was a game where lessons were learned.”
The Dragons faced the Okotoks Oilers in their final game on Friday, and once again the team came out strong but ultimately fell to the Oilers 4-0. “We didn’t play poorly, but mistakes of inexperience were made and Okotoks capitalized on those mistakes,” said Curran. “I liked our start, but it looked like we were tired in the first and second periods. The coaching staff recognizes this but we challenged the players in the third period and for most of that period we competed very hard.”
“We knew coming into this season we were going to be young and I felt we had to get back to the type of hockey I want to see this team play: fast, high-intensity, and hard working,” commented Curran. “We still have work to do, but the players have worked hard every day and I can see the culture here changing in a positive way. Myself and [assistant coach] Darryl (Olsen) and the rest of the staff are enjoying these young men and know they’re going to do great things this season!”