Jayven Leslie broke the deadlock after five minutes of double overtime and the Lloyd Bobcats took Game 4 by a 5-4 score, knotting up the series against the Bonnyville Pontiacs two games apiece.
The Pontiacs, after winning decisively 7-4 in Game 3 on Tuesday, found a way to comeback from a three goal deficit after trailing 3-0 to take a 3rd period lead, thanks to goals from Ludo Tardif, Cole Hipkin, and a pair from Max Seguin.
The Bobcats found an equalizer moments later, sending the game into the agony and ecstasy of playoff overtime.
Bonnyville killed two penalties in the first overtime and each team rung iron in the frame. In double overtime, the Yaks lost a draw in their zone, and Leslie found the deflection in order to beat Weiss for the overtime winner.
“We just couldn’t overcome that start. There was a couple of goals that we probably shouldn’t have let in,” said assistant coach Connor Cadaret.
“It’s a best of three series now and we have home ice advantage. And the fact that a lot of our guys gained a ton of experience tonight in a game where we came back. That’s the first time a lot of them have played in an overtime like that, double overtime. I think we’re happy we responded really well, we forced overtime, and some of our top guys woke up tonight.”
The series shifts back to Bonnyville on Friday night.
Cole Tisdale, after winning his starts in Game 2 and 3, was pulled after allowing three goals on 24 shots on Wednesday. In relief, Weiss was dialled on, only beat twice by deflected shots.
Trey Funk and Jack Budd each have registered seven points in the series, just one behind the leader in postseason scoring. Meanwhile, Ben Aucoin of the Bobcats has collected six points.
Game 6 is set for Sunday evening back at the Centennial Civic Center at 5:00pm. Game 7 if necessary is at the RJ Lalonde Arena on Tuesday, March 21 at 7:00pm.
In other AJHL action, the Whitecourt Wolverines swept the Grande Prairie Storm to punch their ticket to the second round.
The Okotoks Oilers are also through to the second round after four games vs the Camrose Kodiaks.
Sherwood Park and Fort McMurray are deadlocked two games apiece. The Drumheller Dragons lead the Canmore Eagles 3-1 and the Blackfalds Bulldogs lead 3-1 on the Calgary Canucks.