Firebirds dominate Packers with shutout

J. Reed Anderson Devils Lake Journal GM
Firebird Carson Lovin pokes the puck away from Packer Chase Forthun.

The Devils Lake Firebirds dominated the West Fargo Packers last night.The Firebirds skated strong and kept the puck in the Packers zone most of the game, almost giving Reegan Reule the night off.He did have 24 saves on the night, which was surprising given the amount of time the Firebirds spent on the Packers side of the ice.But, he did have to defend against some Packer 5-4 and 5-3 power plays, and they did put some shots on goal.

The Firebirds picked up their first goal 10 minutes into the first period.Carson Lovin found Craig Peterson and he snuck the puck around the corner of the goal.The game was getting a bit frisky and chippy even then.They moved the puck well offensively and except for a Packer power play spent most of the period in the Packer zone.

In the second period the Firebirds put three more goals on the board, one on a break-away by Peterson (his second goal of the night) who put the shot low past the Packers Gabe Pederson, and the othergoal at the end of a Firebird 5-4 power play.It looked like the Packers were going to survive the shorthanded play, but a couple of good passes up top and dump pass in front of the crease from Riley Roed to Nolan Bushee gave the Firebirds a 3-0 lead with 36 seconds on the Packer penalty.

Then, with two Firebirds in the penalty box and shorthanded 5-3, Firebird Caleb Schwab cleared the puck past their blue line, it hopped over a defender’s stick, and Tommy Reslock outraced two defenders to get it.Pederson came out of the Packer net and Reslock lifted the puck over Pederson’s blade, moved past him, and backhanded it into the back of the net.

The Firebirds spent nearly six minutes of the third quarter shorthanded, down 5-4, 5-3, and that’s when Ruele earned his keep, gloving slapshots, poking away pucks, falling on loose pucks.The second period ended with the Firebirds up 4-0.

The Packers couldn’t get the puck out of their zone for very long in the third period.The Firebirds had a power play early, and put lots of shots at Pederson, who did a great job of rejecting them.The two teams had coinciding roughing penalties, so it was four on four, and then the Packers put one more in the box on an unsportsmanlike call.The game got really chippy by then, with a little checking, a little pushing, a small retaliation, and then a trip for the offender to the penalty box.

The Firebirds got back to full strength and the Packers were still down one man, when Reslock got the puck to Blair Martinson behind the net, and who snuck it in from the side.Less than two minutes later, Bushee pushed the puck to Cole Senkyr for the Firebirds sixth goal on the night.