The real season gets under way for the Devils Lake Firebirds tonight.
The Firebirds will tip off action in the East Region Hockey Tournament at 7 p.m. when they take to the ice at the Scheels Arena in Fargo against the Fargo Davies Eagles.
Make no mistake about it, the Firebirds will have their work cut out for them. As the No. 8 seed in the tournament, Devils Lake will have to work its way through a Murderer’s Row schedule in order to reach the finals on Saturday.
The Firebirds will open their run this evening when they square off against Fargo Davies, the tournament’s No. 1 seed.
Despite the odds, Devils Lake senior wing Damond Brokke said he things the team a chance to pull off a first-round upset.
“I think we can compete with them,” said Brokke, who has played four years on the DLHS varsity. “We just have to play our game. It won’t be easy, but they (Davies) are probably going to come in with their heads full. I guarantee they are looking past us, which is what we want.”
Davies comes into the tournament with a 12-2 record against conference teams. The Eagles are 17-4 overall.
Davies heads into the action as one of the hottest teams in the state. The Eagles have won eight of their 10 games. During that span, the team has outscored its opponents by a 36-23 margin.
The Firebirds suffered tough losses in their two games with Davies, falling 5-1 on Nov. 29 and 6-2 on Jan. 17.
Devils Lake, 6-15 overall enters the tournament at 1-13 in conference action. The team’s lone win on Jan. 26 in a 3-2 decision against Minot.
The loser of the DL-Davies game will play either Grafton/Park River at noon on Feb. 15 at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks. The winner will advance to the semifinals at 6 p.m. on Feb. 15.
Other first round games include matchups of No. 4 seed Grafton/Park River and fifth-seed Fargo South/Shanley at 7 p.m. in Grafton, No. 2 seed Red River and West Fargo, at 7 p.m. at Purpur Arena in Grand Forks, and No. 3 Fargo North and No. 6 Grand Forks Central at 7 p.m. in the Fargo Coliseum.
The finals of the tournament will be held at 5 p.m. on Feb. 16 at the Purpur Arena in Grand Forks.