Anyone who left the game early last night knows how it felt to be a Miami fan sitting in the parking lot of the Dolphins-Patriots game. In twenty-six seconds the Devils Lake Firebirds came from a goal down with just over a minute left in the game to beat the Fargo North Spartans.

Anyone who left the game early last night knows how it felt to be a Miami fan sitting in the parking lot of the Dolphins-Patriots game.  In twenty-six seconds the Devils Lake Firebirds came from a goal down with just over a minute left in the game to beat the Fargo North Spartans.

The Spartans played defense with a purpose in the first period.  They wouldn’t let the Firebirds out of their own zone for almost thirteen minutes and the Spartans offense slapped twenty-one shots at Firebirds goalie Reegan Reule.  The Spartans put two goals on the board in the first ten minutes.

The Firebirds finally got a chance on a powerplay five and a half minutes left in the period.  Riley Roed got the puck on a break-away.  He went to the left of the net and dumped the puck back to a trailing John Rutten in the middle who lifted the shot past Spartans goalie Luke Olson.  The Firebirds tied it up three minutes later when Camden Schwab intercepted a Spartans pass in front of the blue line and put a slapshot past Olson.  Those two goals were two of the only six shots the Firebirds managed in the first period.

The Firebirds got their offense skating in the second period.  They went up 3-2 when Carter Schwab took the puck all the way and beat two Spartan defenders and Olson.  Seconds later the Firebirds had a powerplay on an interference call when Elijah Fossum hip-threw Roed in front of the Firebirds goal.  Roed left the game with an apparent knee injury.  The Firebirds did end the second period strong with the puck on the Spartans side of the ice, and put fifteen shots on goal.

But the Spartans came out hard in the third and tied the game fourteen seconds in the period.  Five minutes later Caleb Fritel caught a rebound off of Reule to make it 4-3 Spartans.  And at that point it looked a bit bleak for the Firebirds.  The Spartan defense shut them down like they had in the first, and their offense started bouncing pucks off of Reule like they had in the first.  At two minutes left, well, the spectre of the Dolphins game did raise its head.

Firebirds coach Jens Stokke called a timeout at the 1:55 mark.  The faceoff was to the right of the Spartans goal.  The puck was bounced back to the Firebirds wing, and a slapshot was knocked down by the Spartans.  It rolled to Zach Boren, whose shot was deflected by a Spartans defender.  That slid to Blair Martinson and his hit a Spartans skate and was redirected to Aaron Johnson, just to the left of the net, who easily flipped the puck over a sprawled Olson and tied the game at four a piece, with a minute-forty-six left to play.

Twenty-six seconds later Martinson got the puck to Boren for the win, with 1:20 left.

The Spartans pulled Olson with fifty-two seconds to play and the Firebirds held off a ferocious attack to win, 5-4.

The Spartans had forty-eight shots on goal total, to the Firebirds twenty-seven.  Each team had only three penalties all night.