The Erie Otters have taken a 3 games to 2 lead in the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference Final after beating the Owen Sound Attack 4-2 in Game 5 Friday night at the Erie Insurance Arena.
Gera Poddubnyi scored 2 goals for Erie, the first to tie the game at 1 and the 2nd to tie it again at 2 goals apiece.
The key sequence in the game came very late in the 2nd period.
Erie forward Alex DeBrincat was about to be called for a tripping minor, but during the delayed penalty, Owen Sound captain Santino Centorame drove the Otters net with the puck and was fingered for goaltender interference on the play.
Rather than going to a power play, Owen Sound was in a 4 on 4 situation with the Otters and during that matchup defenceman Jordan Sambrook fired a shot from the high slot that beat Michael McNiven for what stood as the game winning goal.
Taylor Raddysh sealed the Erie victory with an empty net marker with only 8 seconds remaining in the 3rd period.
Attack underage Aidan Dudas was credited with both Owen Sound goals.
There was no doubt that Dudas scored the opening goal of the game but on the 2nd Owen Sound marker, Dudas appeared to signal that Matt Schmalz was the goal scorer for Owen Sound.
Regardless, the win by Erie puts them just 1 win away from advancing to the Ontario Hockey League Championship Series against the Mississauga Steelheads who won the eastern Conference Championship in a 4 game sweep of Peterborough.
The Attack will try and even the best of 7 at 3 wins apiece when they host Game 6 of the Western Conference Final Sunday afternoon in Owen Sound.
Game time Sunday is 2 pm at the Harry Lumley-Bayshore Community Centre.
If the Attack win on Sunday afternoon, it would force a 7th & deciding game in the series on Monday night back in Erie, Pennsylvania.
1, Owen Sound, Dudas 1 (Campbell, Friend), 15:07.
2, Erie, Poddubnyi 1 (Girhiny, Headrick), 17:23.
Penalties-Lizotte Er (interference), 5:45.
3, Owen Sound, Dudas 2 (Schmalz, Pryce), 6:20.
4, Erie, Poddubnyi 2 (Fergus, Headrick), 11:11. 5, Erie, Sambrook 5 (Cernak, Cirelli), 19:46.
Penalties-James Os (roughing), 0:59; Raddysh Er (roughing), 0:59; Centorame Os (high sticking), 12:52; Foegele Er (high sticking), 12:52; Centorame Os (inter. on goaltender), 19:26; DeBrincat Er (tripping), 19:26.
6, Erie, Raddysh 9 (Strome, Cirelli), 19:52 (EN).
Shots on Goal-
Owen Sound 14-7-4-25.
Power Play Opportunities-
Owen Sound 0 / 1;
Erie 0 / 0.
Owen Sound, McNiven (38 shots-35 saves).
Erie, Timpano (25 shots-23 saves).
Referees-Scott Oakman (23), Darcy Burchell (38).
Linesmen-Andrew Smith (51), Dustin McCrank (68).