The Barrie Colts won their third straight game to take a commanding 3-1 series lead against the Ottawa 67’s with a chance to end the series Friday night in Ottawa.
Barrie scored twice in the third period to take a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish.
Mathias Niederberger stopped 30 shots for the win and Colin Behenna had a goal and an assist in the third period to give Barrie the victory.
Ottawa opened the scoring with the lone goal of the first period off the stick of Remy Giftopoulos, his second of the series. Callaghan and Cazzola assisted on the opening goal that came just 2:17 in to the game.
Barrie evened the score in the second period with a Derek Hartwick blast from the point. His first of the playoffs came unassisted 5:37 in to the second period.
The 67’s regained their lead shortly thereafter with Sean Monahan’s fifth of the playoffs from Cody Ceci and Tyler Toffoli at 7:40.
In the third period Aaron Ekblad put a wrist shot on goal that got through Petr Mrazek to tie the game at two just 20 seconds in to the third frame. Behenna and Ivan Telegin assisted on Ekblad’s second of the playoffs.
Then on the power play, Colin Behenna tipped in a great slap-pass from Daniel Erlich to take a lead that they would not give up. Telegin picked up his second assist of the period.
Both teams will now travel to Ottawa for game five Friday night.
The Colts are still without five regulars from their lineup, including Tanner Pearson, Zach Hall and Steven Beyers.
Pearson was sidelined with a season-ending injury in the final game of the regular season. Beyers and Hall haven’t played in the second round, while defencemen Ryan O’Connor and Alex Yuill are both week-to-week.