The Drumheller Dragons started their pre-season tournament style in Okotoks August 27-29. Teams in attendance were Okotoks Oilers, Brooks Bandits, Calgary Mustangs and the Drumheller Dragons.
Coach Brian Curran looks forward to preseason games as a tool to gain insight on opposing teams and day one of the tournament did just just that.
Dragons vs Brooks
The Dragons faced off against long-time rivals the Brooks Bandits. The Bandits have always been a strong team and by all accounts will be strong again this season. The game started off well for the Dragons as they could have had 2-3 goals in the first 7 minutes. That would be all though as the Bandits would capitalize quickly after that and the game itself was all Brooks.
Coach Curran “I thought we started off very well but after those first 7 minutes it became a wreck. It's exhibition but I was very disappointed with our compete level and as a Coach I will not tolerate that effort. Brooks is a good team but so are we and on this night we didn't show up.”
Dragons vs Oilers
Game two against the Okotoks Oilers would be a true test for the Dragons after their previous performance vs Brooks. One could only wonder but tonight the Dragons came to play.
The Oilers, a very young team came out flying but at the end of the first with strong goaltending from Johnny Hogue the Dragons would take the lead into the locker room.
The second and third periods were much of the same and at the end of the game the Dragons would prevail.
Coach Curran,” It was a much better game and our compete level improved. I thought the Oilers played a very strong game. We capitalized on our chances and had strong goaltending but there is work to be done. It's a start.”
Dragons vs Mustangs
The third and final game was against the much improved Calgary Mustangs who the night before beat the Brooks Bandits With both teams playing their third game of the tournament it would be a test of endurance and execution.
Both teams played extremely hard and with tremendous spirit. This game showed the strongest performance from Drumheller. They were involved right from the start and the game would take its turns in each team’s offensive zones with pressure.The Dragons final game would end in a solid win.
Coach Curran, ” I thought that our compete level was the best of all 3 games but more importantly we bounced back from our first game and that showed me that although we have a lot of work to do we are heading in a very positive direction. I would also like to thank the Okotoks Oilers for hosting this tournament and all their volunteers that helped make it a very successful weekend for all involved.”