The Drumheller Dragons made a carousel-like roster move earlier this month, involving three goaltenders, which now leaves one goaltender poised to be the odd-man out, eventually.
First, the Dragons traded (G) Cale Elder to the Kindersley Klippers for Future Considerations. They then acquired 20-year-old, (G) Cale Ahern, from the Soo Thunderbirds (NOJHL) and saw the return of (G) Brett Balas from the Western Hockey League. Along with rookie goaltender, Ryley Osland, it poses a musical chairs type scenario in Drumheller. Who’s in and who’s out? It’s a question that will need to be answered sooner or later.
The pressure to secure a roster spot is pushing the trio of hopeful net minders to play their best whenever they get their opportunity in net. The internal competition has been good for the group, according to Dragons assistant coach, Kenton Levesque.
“Tons of competition. It’s been really good for them,” explains Levesque. “I think it’s been really good for our team. We can’t carry three (goalies) all year so we’ll see how it shakes out, but it’s been really healthy competition.”
- Osland (’01) is 7-3-1 this season with a 2.82 goals against average (GAA) and an 0.892 save percentage (Sv%).
- Ahern (’99) has made 4 starts, picking up 2 wins (2-1-0) with a 2.61 GAA and .913 Sv%
- Balas has appeared in 2 games for the Drumheller Dragons, posting a (1-1-0) record and a 3.56 GAA and .889 Sv%.
Each game provides more insight into a decision for the coaching staff, as to who they believe will carry this team forward. Osland has been here since training camp, Balas was acquire in a trade from the Calgary Canucks for Hasan Akl and he has WHL experience, but it’s Ahern who has had the better numbers between the two. However, he is 20-years-old this season. It’s never an easy choice to make.
“All three kids are great kids in the room and great goaltenders,” added Levesque. “So we’ll see how it shakes out.”
The Dragons are back in action on November 28, 2019 when they host the Whitecourt Wolverines. As to who gets the start in net, we will have to wait and see.