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LEAPIN' LIZARDS; LOOK WHAT THE GRIZZLYS DRAGGED IN
Posted November 12th, 2017 @ 10:08 am

copyright TG Storey

PERIOD ONE

Yes indeed ladies and gentlemen sports fans, the lizards, aka the Drumheller Dragons, were leaping in the Olds Sportsplex Friday night. At least early on in the game they were. And with good reason. They scored against the Grizzlys on their very first shot on net at 1:13 of the First Period.

It was a beautiful goal. Using a protractor and some advanced geometry it took me about a half hour to figure how they did it.

A Dragons player had the puck against the right wing boards up at the the top of the corner face off circle, in the Grizzlys end. He passed it to Dragon number 2 in the bottom of the face off circle. From there the puck went to a third Dragon in the slot four meters out from the Olds net. That's a lot of Dragons roaming free in the Grizzlys end.

Dragon number 2 moved from the bottom of the face off circle, across the ice in front of Olds goalie, Henderson, deliberately screening him. The Dragon with the puck in the slot fired at just the right time, beating Henderson on his stick side. Because of the screen, Henderson probably didn't see the puck until it was in the net.

Goal number 1 for the Dragons. Jordan Taupert put the puck in the net. Marcus Boguslavsky provided the screen. Brett Edwards for the Dragons initiated the goal by freeing the puck from the boards and heading it towards the two Dragons roaming free in front of the Olds goal.

Seconds later the Dragons came close to scoring again. The Dragons fired a shot from the top of the right wing, corner face off circle. Grizzlys goalie, Henderson, blocked it with his pads. But the puck rebounded to his left and was picked up by a Dragons player who fired a tight angle shot aimed at the left side of the Grizzlys net. Henderson made a magnificent glove save. The Grizzlys have to pick up the pace if they are to stay in this game.

At 2:38 of the First Period it looks like bad news for Olds, when Captain Chase Olsen gets a double minor, four minute penalty, for high sticking. Fortunately the Grizzlys penalty killing is equal to the circumstance, aided by Owen Guenter, who killed time by skating the puck in a big lazy circle at center ice. This is something out of the old time play book of Toronto Maple Leaf alumnus, Eddie Shack, who was famous for the same tactic.

The Grizzly's emerged from the double penalty without incurring further goals against. But at 7:14 they get another penalty, for tripping this time. Kabe Bleay heads to the box for two minutes.

I saw the supposed infraction. While a Dragons player did go down, it looked inadvertent to me. The officials over reacted on the call.

But no matter; it had a happy outcome. With his team short handed, new arrival to the Grizzlys team, Forward, # 20, Josh Borynec, snatched the puck from a Drumheller player just outside the Dragons blue line. He rocketed it up the right side boards and into the corner face off circle. He wristed a shot from just about the center of the circle and beat the Dragons goal tender on his glove hand side.

It was a shot the Dragons goalie should have had. He was in position waiting for it, with an unobstructed view. But then again, the puck was moving with bullet like speed.

And, BULLSEYE! Whoo hoo, Olds is on the scoreboard. It's a 1 -1 hockey game. Shots on goal are 4 - 2 in favor of Drumheller.

The tie, though, did not last the period. At 14:10 Dragons Forward, Marcus Boguslavsky picked up a rebound off Andrew Henderson's goal pads. An Olds player was fighting him for the puck two meters out from the Grizzlys net but lost the battle. Boguslavsky snapped a backhand shot that leviated the puck at a sharp angle. It hit the crossbar on Goalie, Henderson's, glove hand side and dropped into the net.

Two to one for the Drumheller Dragons. Shots on goal are 8 - 4 for the Visitors.

The lizards are leapin' again.

The Period ended with the score 2-1 for Drumheller. Shots on goal were 10 - 6 also in favor of Drumheller.


PERIOD 2

Play in the Second Period was blisteringly fast, and hard hitting, but with most of the heavy checks being delivered by the Dragons. Olds seemed content to take the punishment and work poke checks. In the notes I scribbled in the second or two I was able to take my eyes off the action, I made a quick commendation for Olds Defenseman # 2, Kabe Bleay, for poke checking.

Olds Defenseman #4, Jared Bowman, gets honorable mention for a body check he delivered to Dragons # 12, Forward, Brady Risk.

At 12:56 Drumheller Forward, # 28, Brett Edwards, received a hooking penalty, while looting for the puck behind the Olds net. The Grizzlys did not waste the power play opportunity.

Olds Forward, # 20, Borynec, picked up the puck at the Olds blue line and raced down the right side boards with it. He got pasted with a vicious but clean hip check that dropped him to the ice. But he was able to pass the puck forward to the right side corner. Three Grizzlys players converged on it.

Olds Forward # 17 dug the puck out of the corner and stick handled to the Dragons net, and through the goal crease to the other side, where he stuffed the puck into the net right along side the goal post on the goalies' stick side. Unbelievably magnificent.

The game is tied 2 -2. Shots on goal are 18 to 11 for the Dragons.

But the tie will be short lived. After the center ice face off, play moves to the Olds end and becomes insanely fast. The right wing Dragons Defenceman fires a wrist shot on net from the top of the end zone face off circle. It's wide of the net. The rebound off the boards is picked up by the Dragons.

The puck is passed to the Dragons right wing Defenceman again. He belts a blistering slap shot from the top of the end zone face off circle. Henderson stops it. A Dragons forward in the slot, close in, sweeps the puck off to the right of the goal. Dragons Forward, Jordan Taupert is there.

Andrew Henderson is on the far side of the goal mouth, trying to get to his feet after stopping the slap shot. Taupert takes control of the puck and approaches the gaping open side of the goal. Henderson sees whats going to happen. Tries to get his stick in front of the puck. But Taupert, with a backhand, lofts it over the goal tender's stick into the top corner of the net.

The score is 3 -2 for the Dragons. Shots on goal are 19 - 11, also in their favor.

Seconds after the post goal-center ice face off, the Grizzlys move the play into the Drumheller end. Olds Defenceman # 3 Austin Pickford sets up a potentially nice play approaching the opposition net with the puck from the right wing side of the slot. He passes the puck across the slot in the direction of Olds captain, Chase Olsen, but is hooked in the process by a Dragons player. Olsen does get a shot off but it is stopped by the Dragons goalie.

The good news is that Drumheller got a penalty for hooking. And it was going to cost them.

What happened next is as pretty a piece of hockey as I've seen, if you can qualify hockey as pretty. Olds Defenseman, # 4, Jared Bowman, is carrying the puck up the right side of the ice towards the opposition end. Just before the blue line he makes a rink wide pass to # 17 Forward, Jared Power who has just crossed the blue line on the left wing. Power advances the puck to the top of the left side, end zone, face off circle. He passes the puck back across the rink to Bowman. Jared Bowman moves the puck into the top of the circle on the right wing. He passes back across the rink to Power, who has moved to the bottom of the left wing face off circle. Power shoots from a tight angle. The puck slips by the Dragons goalie on an upwards trajectory and impacts the inside top of the net of the far side. GOAL! At 17:44.

Freaking magnificent checkerboard hockey.

The game is now tied, 3 - 3. Shots on goal are 19 - 14 for Drumheller.

Drumheller got one more shot on goal before period end. But the score remained 3 - 3 going into Period Three.


Andrew Henderson is on the far side of the goal mouth, trying to get to his feet after stopping the slap shot. Taupert takes control of the puck and approaches the gaping open side of the goal. Henderson sees whats going to happen. Tries to get his stick in front of the puck. But Taupert, with a backhand, lofts it over the goal tender's stick into the top corner of the net.

The score is 3 -2 for the Dragons. Shots on goal are 19 - 11, also in their favor.

Seconds after the post goal-center ice face off, the Grizzlys move the play into the Drumheller end. Olds Defenceman # 3 Austin Pickford sets up a potentially nice play approaching the opposition net with the puck from the right wing side of the slot. He passes the puck across the slot in the direction of Olds captain, Chase Olsen, but is hooked in the process by a Dragons player. Olsen does get a shot off but it is stopped by the Dragons goalie.

The good news is that Drumheller got a penalty for hooking. And it was going to cost them.

What happened next is as pretty a piece of hockey as I've seen, if you can qualify hockey as pretty. Olds Defenseman, # 4, Jared Bowman, is carrying the puck up the right side of the ice towards the opposition end. Just before the blue line he makes a rink wide pass to # 17 Forward, Jared Power who has just crossed the blue line on the left wing. Power advances the puck to the top of the left side, end zone, face off circle. He passes the puck back across the rink to Bowman. Jared Bowman moves the puck into the top of the circle on the right wing. He passes back across the rink to Power, who has moved to the bottom of the left wing face off circle. Power shoots from a tight angle. The puck slips by the Dragons goalie on an upwards trajectory and impacts the inside top of the net of the far side. GOAL! At 17:44.

Freaking magnificent checkerboard hockey.

The game is now tied, 3 - 3. Shots on goal are 19 - 14 for Drumheller.

Drumheller got one more shot on goal before period end. But the score remained 3 - 3 going into Period Three.


PERIOD THREE

The Olds Grizzlys lit the afterburner and the rocket assist in the Third Period. After being out shot in the first and second periods, Olds out shot the Dragons 12 - 9 in the third.

Nonetheless, the start to the last 20 minutes of play was a tentative one. Olds Captain, took a heavy body check into the corner boards in the Dragons' end, right where I was photographing. The impact was so hard I was checking myself for damage after the fact. Nope, I'm OK. Just got hit by the shock wave is all.

But things changed soon thereafter. Olds Forward, # 21, Jeremy Klessens got hold of the puck on the left wing just around the Olds Blue Line. He raced down the ice, trailing a couple of Dragons in his wake. Only one defender separated him from the Dragons net. And here is where things got interesting.

Klessens shoots from his right side. And with him moving towards the opposition net from the left wing, the Dragons goal tender had to figure that the pending shot would come from Klessens right side. Not a heck of a lot of room for a backhand.

But that's exactly what Klessens did. From two meters out, and over to the left side of the slot, Klessens popped a neat backhand past the goalie's stick hand side. SWEET!

At 2:09 the Grizzlys are ahead 4 - 3 on Klessens' unassisted goal.

Drumheller sustained a key penalty a few minutes later, for charging. Seems a Dragons player believed Grizzlys Austin Pickford would look better pasted to the center ice boards. He took a bit of a run at the job just to get it done right. And ended in the penalty box for a couple of minutes.

That was just the opportunity Olds needed to pop in another goal and put the game out of reach for the Dragons.

The goal was scored at 7:17 by Parker Ward with Quentin Greenwood and Chase Olsen assisting. It went something like this:

PERIOD THREE

The Olds Grizzlys lit the afterburner and the rocket assist in the Third Period. After being out shot in the first and second periods, Olds out shot the Dragons 12 - 9 in the third.

Nonetheless, the start to the last 20 minutes of play was a tentative one. Olds Captain, took a heavy body check into the corner boards in the Dragons' end, right where I was photographing. The impact was so hard I was checking myself for damage after the fact. Nope, I'm OK. Just got hit by the shock wave is all.

But things changed soon thereafter. Olds Forward, # 21, Jeremy Klessens got hold of the puck on the left wing just around the Olds Blue Line. He raced down the ice, trailing a couple of Dragons in his wake. Only one defender separated him from the Dragons net. And here is where things got interesting.

Klessens shoots from his right side. And with him moving towards the opposition net from the left wing, the Dragons goal tender had to figure that the pending shot would come from Klessens right side. Not a heck of a lot of room for a backhand.

But that's exactly what Klessens did. From two meters out, and over to the left side of the slot, Klessens popped a neat backhand past the goalie's stick hand side. SWEET!

At 2:09 the Grizzlys are ahead 4 - 3 on Klessens' unassisted goal.

Drumheller sustained a key penalty a few minutes later, for charging. Seems a Dragons player believed Grizzlys Austin Pickford would look better pasted to the center ice boards. He took a bit of a run at the job just to get it done right. And ended in the penalty box for a couple of minutes.

That was just the opportunity Olds needed to pop in another goal and put the game out of reach for the Dragons.

The goal was scored at 7:17 by Parker Ward with Quentin Greenwood and Chase Olsen assisting. It went something like this:

In the center ice zone, over on the left wing, Olds Defenceman, Austin Pickford gets control of the puck and passes it ahead to Chase Olsen. Olsen moves it up along the boards to just inside the Dragons blue line. A Dragons player is blocking his path so he makes a short pass to the right, to Quentin Greenwood.

Greenwood moves with the puck into the left side of the slot to a couple of meters from the Dragons goal. He backhands a shot from a tight angle into the goalies' pads.

Olds Forward, Parker Ward, is in perfect position, dead center in the slot, two meters from the goal. He catches the puck rebounding off the net minders' pads and moves to the edge of the goal crease. He makes a quick move to his left and lofts the puck over the goalies tick, into the upper corner of the net. GOAL! On the power play at 7:17.

Olds Grizzlys now lead the Drumheller Dragons, the number 3 ranked team in the Division, 5 - 3. Leapin' Lizards, indeed.

And that wrapped up the game for scoring ladies and gentlemen sports fans. Subsequent Dragons frustration resulted in a penalty for after the whistle roughing.

Play continued fast and hard. And around the 15 minute mark Olds goal tender, Henderson made a couple of great back to back saves to keep his team ahead by two.

When the buzzer sounded to end the game, Olds was victorious 5 - 3, on total shots on net of 29 - 26 in favor of the Dragons. The vaunted # 3 team, the Drumheller Dragons , retreated to the arid crack in the earth they call home, breathing fire no more.

For those who live near the Badlands a distant howl may be heard on the night air. A wail may be more like it. And perhaps a crunching sound, of dispirited lizards scavenging a meal of old dinosaur bones. There is no fresh meat in the valley tonight.

GO GRIZZLYS!

 
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View the Grizzlys Community Schedule for the Holiday Season!

 
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