By all accounts the first period was dismal. The Devils Lake Firebirds took 12 shots on goal, but the Crookston Pirates made one of their seven count. The Pirates controlled the ice and the tempo for 17 minutes. The next two periods belonged to the Firebirds.

By all accounts the first period was dismal.  The Devils Lake Firebirds took 12 shots on goal, but the Crookston Pirates made one of their seven count.  The Pirates controlled the ice and the tempo for 17 minutes.  The next two periods belonged to the Firebirds.

The Pirates gave the Firebirds three powerplays in the second period, and the Firebirds dominated for more than 12 minutes.  The Pirates penalty breakers cleared the puck from their zone only twice, and it fell to Grace Koshney to keep the game at 1-0 Pirates.  She played an absolutely stellar game, rejecting shot after shot on goal.  She stopped 27 in the first two periods, 15 in the second.

Pirate defenders did a good job much of the game of keeping Firebirds from in front of the crease and congesting the passing lanes, but their offense couldn’t get past the Firebirds defense.  Firebirds defenders regularly checked the puck away from Pirates attackers, and in the second period played on the Pirates side of the ice.  But the Firebirds offense just couldn’t find a way past Koshney.

The Firebirds came out for the third period skating rather lethargically, and the Pirates came out attacking the remainder of the Firebirds penalty from the end of the second.  The Firebirds picked up their pace and again took over the game’s momentum, but still without finding any hole in Koshney’s defense.  With 21 seconds left a hole was found.  Koshney fell to the ice devastated.  The Firebirds tied the game at one each with 21 seconds remaining.  Overtime.

The Pirates got two great chances about five minutes in, and both were one-on-one with Molly Black.  The first attempt Black timed perfectly and knocked the puck off the stick of the Pirate crossing right in front of the crease.  The second attempt Black went out to meet the Pirate, missed, leaving the goal wide opened.  She did mess up the shot but another Pirate was at there to pick up the puck.  She caught, turned to shoot, and found the left shinguard of a just-arrived Firebirds defender Haylee Carlson instead of the open net.

The Firebirds picked up the puck and drove it into the Pirates zone.  Shot after shot ricocheted off Koshney until players from both sides were bunched up in a scrum in front of the crease.

A shot ricocheted off Koshney to Reule who got it to Vivianna Kraft who found a small opening for the win.  The final score was 2-1, Firebirds.

Koshney took 40 shots on goal and made 38 saves.  Black had 15 total against her and saved 14.

“I thought the first period was disgusting for us,” said Rob McIvor, Firebirds head coach.  “I thought the second period we played really well and we outplayed them in the third.  I was impressed by Koshney and told her that I’ve never seen better play from a goalie.  We got the win, and that’s what counts.”