67’s give up lead but come through in OT to put Bulldogs on the ropes

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Sam Mayer’s third goal of the night with 9:37 left in the first overtime period game the Ottawa 67’s a wild 6-5 victory over the Brantford Bulldogs at TD Place.

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The win puts Ottawa in command of their best-of-seven opening round series, 3-1.

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The 67’s erupted for three straight period third-period goals by Henry Mews, Bradley Horner and Will Gerrior in a span of eight minutes and 16 seconds turned a 3-2 deficit into a 5-3 lead, but the 67’s couldn’t protect it.

Zakary Lavoie’s second of the night with 2:52 left pulled the visitors to within one and Nick Lardis extended the evening by scoring with 56 seconds left while Brantford goalie Matteo Drobac was on the bench for an extra attacker.

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The 67’s gave up an early first-period goal for the fourth game of the series when overage defenceman Mayer was stripped of the puck at his own blue line by Marek Vanacker, who raced in alone to beat Collin MacKenzie with a shot under the bar at the 3:51 mark for his third of the series.

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After scoring Vanacker crashed into MacKenzie hard, leaving the 67’s goalie sprawled on the ice, collecting himself for a minute. MacKenzie remained in the game and was solid the rest of the way.

Brantford outshot Ottawa, 42-29.

Mayer, meanwhile, would make up for his early gaffe.

Brantford went up 2-0 on a goal by Adrian Rebelo 47 seconds into the second period before Mayer put Ottawa on the board with a power play marker four minutes later.

Lavoie restored the Bulldogs two-goal lead at 14:46 of the middle frame, but again Mayer pulled the 67’s close 40 seconds before the intermission.

The 67’s carried the momentum from that goal into the third to put the Bulldogs on the ropes.

The series moves to Brantford for Game 5 on Saturday at 4 p.m. If a Game 6 is necessary, it will be Sunday at TD Place with a 7 p.m. start.

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