Home ice advantage was wrested from the Innisfil Spartans.
The McLean and Dickey Terriers triumphed 5-4 Sunday evening in a thrilling, back-and-forth game that gives Orillia a 2-1 series lead in the Provincial Junior Hockey League first-round playoff series.
Innisfil broke out on top early in the pivotal third game in their home barn, scoring less than five minutes into the contest.
But Matthew Campbell and Noah Mountain tallied goals three minutes apart that allowed the visitors to head into the second period with a 2-1 advantage.
Innisfil knotted the score five minutes into the middle frame, but Brady McLaren scored his third of the series to restore Orillia’s one-goal advantage heading into the third of this Jr. C playoff roller-coaster.
It was more of the same in the third period, as the teams traded chances and goals. Colton Drummond stretched Orillia’s lead to 4-2 but, with less than eight minutes remaining, the Spartans once again closed the gap.
However, regular season scoring leader Josh Brown tallied an insurance marker that gave the Terriers some breathing room. A last-minute Innisfil goal was not enough as Orillia held on to secure the 5-4 victory in front of more than 400 fans at the Innisfil Recreation Complex.
Reed Spinola picked up the win between the pipes, stopping 42 of 46 shots as Innisfil out-shot the visitors 46-43.
The Terriers took 16 minutes in penalties and gave up a power-play goal. Innisfil took 10 minutes in penalties; Orillia did not have a power-play opportunity in the game.
The Spartans have a chance to even the series on the road Tuesday night. Game time at Rotary Place is 7:30 p.m.