The Chilliwack Chiefs' season was on the line Wednesday night after the Prince George Spruce Kings forced a fifth and deciding game with a 5-2 victory Tuesday.
The result of Game 5 was not available at press time (scan this page using Layar to get the results).
After beating the Spruce Kings 5-3 Monday, the Chiefs had hoped to end Prince George's season Tuesday. For the fourth time in as many games, the Chiefs handily outshot their opponents, but, as happened in Game 1, the goaltending of Kirk Thompson bailed his team out.
Thompson stopped 40 of 42 shots, including 18 in the third period, when the Chiefs were pressing to tie the game. (Prince George's five goals included two empty-netters scored in the final minute).
For the second straight night, the game got off to a quick start with a goal within the first 30 seconds.
Trevor Esau's one-timed point shot beat Chiefs netminder Mitch Gillam over the glove just 28 seconds into the game.
Philip Zielonka tied the game for the Chiefs midway through the period on the power
play. And Gillam, who was solid throughout the game, made a great blocker save in the final seconds of the period to preserve the tie heading into the second period.
But Prince George upped their game in the second period and got goals from Coltyn Hansen and Shayne Morrisey to take a two-goal lead into the third.
The Spruce Kings would need that third goal, as the Chiefs blitzed the Prince George net and drew to within one with another Zielonka power play marker five minutes into the period. The goal was Zielonka's sixth in just four playoff games.
Chilliwack would outshoot Prince George 19-7 in the third, but couldn't put another puck past Thompson.
A pair of empty-net goals sealed the victory for Prince George.
Home ice finally pays off for Prince George
The Spruce Kings victory was their first against Chilliwack at the Prince George Coliseum this season.
The previous night, the Chiefs had put three goals on the board in the first 10 minutes en route to a 5-3 win.
Zielonka scored twice, while Plevy, Tibbet and Esposito also found the net.
The winner of Wednesday's game would take on the Surrey Eagles in another best-of-five series. Game 1 would go Friday in Surrey, with either Chilliwack or Prince George hosting Games 3 and 4 Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
-with files from Jason Peters, Prince George Citizen