Written by Coach Oly
Friday night the Dragons headed to Okotoks to take on the Oilers. We had a positive attitude and we were ready to play. We came out flying and set the pace. Five minutes into the game, Okotoks shoots and hits the post. Goal judge hits his light, no immediately call by the referee who was standing right there and play kept going. After the whistle there is a discussion with the referees. Yet it turned into a goal for Okotoks. Our entire bench was thoroughly confused and did our best to protest the goal with no luck. It was a bit of a distraction for our players but they redirected and went on to play a fast paced, high-energy game. Jordan Evans scored our first goal on the Power Play from Stonnell and Young, Joren Patenaude scored our second goal from Hurtubise and Dudley. Despite a 3-2 loss, it was a great game and a good effort from the players.
Saturday was our final home game of the regular season against the Oilers and our billet appreciation night. Our players are fortunate to have so many great families in the community who are willing to take them in and take care of them for the season. Our team wouldn’t exist without these local families opening up their homes so thanks to all of our billet families! I would like to also thank our Billet Coordinator, Corrine Collett for all she does to coordinate homes for our players and work with our local families.
The Dragons came out flying in the first period playing the brand of hockey I expect – high energy, physical, pucks to the net. We had several scoring opportunities early on and saw goals in the first period from Clay Keeley from Nate Keeley and Misskey and Kreklewich from Hurtubise and Patenaude. Misskey got the crowd excited when he had enough of the extra punches from 6’4”, 197 pound Nesbitt. Nesbitt may have been a bit surprised when Misskey, 5’9” and 160 pounds, bit back and dominated in the fight. We ended the first period up 2 goals. We got into some penalty trouble right away in the 2nd period when we lost Jordan Evans to a major penalty 25 seconds in for a hit from behind. Regardless, the Dragons kept the pressure on and finished the second period tied at 2-2.
I was very optimistic headed into the 3rd period, the players were energized and had been working hard all game. It’s hard to really describe what happened but in a matter of 2 minutes, we went from a tied game to a 5-2 deficit. The bottom line is we made some simple errors on the ice and Okotoks was right there to take advantage of the opportunity. It’s tough to come back from a deficit like that, especially when it was such a quick turn around. The boys didn’t give up, we saw a 3rd goal by Kartusch from Young and Patenaude and ended the game with a 6-3 final score.
We are a young team and we still make some mistakes that show we are a young team which result in scoring opportunities/goals for our opponents. I will say I saw some fantastic moments and some real growth in the team over the 2 games. This is a hard working group of young men and I think we would have made more progress if we had a full line-up all year. We still do not have a full team in place, but we are preparing for playoffs and hoping for a healthy line up soon.
Our next game is Saturday in Olds. I know the boys will give it all they’ve got Saturday and fight for a victory before we head into playoffs against one of the top 4 teams in the South. We would love to see you out at the rinks cheering on the Dragons!
Photo by Broken Curfew Photography