Written by Coach “Oly” Olsen
The Drumheller dragons headed to Brooks on February 3rd to take on the Brooks Bandits in the Centennial Arena. A talented team like Brooks is always a challenge; this game was no exception as we had 9 players out of the lineup. The Bandits had not lost a game since we beat them in overtime on December 5th so they were eager to come out ahead this time. Brooks played an aggressive game outshooting us 40-21 with a 7-1 final score. Our penalty kill unit was strong holding the Bandits to only one power play goal out of the seven penalties. Brady Risk scored our only goal with an assist from Markus Bogaslovsky and Jeff Fasegha. We had a small bench that battled hard but it just wasn’t enough to meet the challenge of a much older team with a full line-up.
We had an interesting trip to Sherwood Park on Sunday, February 5th. Our game was delayed after our bus broke down just outside of Camrose. Once we got to the rink, we only had 30 minutes to get on the ice and start the game. It’s tough for a team to prepare mentally and physically in such a short time. We came out ready to play; Cody Young scored the first goal of the game assisted by Taupert and Evans. Crusaders tied it up shortly after but we answered back with a power play goal from Tyler Kreklewich (assists from Stonnell and Evans). We continued to battle but had a few breakdowns that resulted in three unanswered goals to end the first period. The boys were able to refocus during the break; Dragons Cody Young scored the only goal of the period, again with the help of Taupert and Evans. We gave up two more goals in the third period despite outshooting Sherwood Park. Jordan Taupert had the final goal of the game giving us a final score of 6-4.
Tuesday, February 7th, we headed to Olds to take on the Grizzlys. Goalies on both sides of the ice gave the players a run for their money stopping every scoring chance the first two periods. Grizzlys opened the scoring a little over six minutes into the third period. Cody Young answered back with the Dragons first goal of the night from Josh Bishop. Less than two minutes later, Tyler Kreklewich scored our second goal from Evans and Boguslovsky. Jordan Taupert ended the game with an empty net goal with just over 30 seconds left in the game snapping our six game losing streaks with a 3-1 victory.
Our active player roster has certainly had their work cut out for them these past few games and this lineup has risen to the challenge, they are committed and work hard every game. We made some simple mental mistakes here and there that turned into goals against us. We’ve progressed every practice and we are learning every single game. We’ve made some changes to the power play and are starting to see some progress. We’ve worked hard as a group on penalty kill giving up only one goal out of 17 chances over the last three games. We’ll continue to work on our defensive zone coverage and generating more scoring opportunities. We look forward to the home and away series with the Brooks Bandits this weekend. Come on out and support the Dragons this Friday.
Photo by Broken Curfew Photography