The Drumheller Dragons were excited to be home after a tough road trip through the AJHL North Division.
The Dragons were not done with dealing with the North Division though as the Sherwood Park Crusaders came to town on Friday to square off against Drumheller. The last time these two teams met was on October 13 in Sherwood Park. The Dragons shut out the Crusaders 3-0 in that game. Drumheller thought that it could be a game like that once again.
Drumheller opened up the scoring 23 seconds into the game when Jordan Taupert scored his 15th of the year from Brett Edwards and Brayden Nicholetts. It was the “Tennis Ball Toss / Teddy Bear Toss” game so the tennis balls and teddy bears flew in the Memorial Arena with the proceeds going to the Salvation Army. Drumheller added to the lead midway through the period when Joren Patenaude scored his 10th of the year from Dawson Bruneski and Tyson Scott. The Dragons were not finished as Brayden Nicholetts scored his 8th of the season from Andrew Kartusch with 1:24 left to go in the first. Drumheller dominated and out shot Sherwood Park 14-5. Drumheller had control of the game, or so they thought.
In the second, it was a fairly even period with both teams having chances. The Crusaders switched their goaltenders at the start of the period with Brandon Vogel taking over from Joshua Dechaine. The only goal of the period was late in the period when the Crusaders William Zapernik scored to make it 3-1 Dragons. Drumheller continued to out shoot Sherwood Park 25-14.
The tides changed in the third period as the Dragons got themselves into penalty trouble. Drumheller took a tripping minor near the midway point of the period and Sherwood Park made them pay as Dylan Stewart scored his 17th of the year to make it 3-2 Dragons. With 7:45 left on the clock, there was a big hit along the boards near the Dragons bench and a scrum ensued. Drumheller ended up taking a 5 minute major penalty for fighting so the Crusaders had an extended power play. Sherwood Park tied it up 1 minute after the penalty when Ryan Cox scored his 25th of the season. They added another power play goal 2 minutes later when Erik Miller scored his 7th of the year. Drumheller pulled Hunter Virostek with 1:35 left and had some chances but could not get one by Brandon Vogel. Sherwood Park put one in the empty net with 16 seconds left as Ty Readman scored to make the final score 5-3 Sherwood Park.
Shots on Goal
Sherwood Park 23
Sherwood Park 3/5
Viterra Game Stars
Drumheller – Jordan Taupert
Sherwood Park – Erik Miller
The Dragons don't have much time to dwell on this loss as they host another AJHL North team, the Grande Prairie Storm, tomorrow night at 7:30pm at the Memorial Arena. There is a big draw after the game as someone is going to be going to the Superbowl in Minneapolis. Tickets are still available to purchase for the Superbowl draw at www.drumhellerdragons.ca.
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