ST. CATHARINES -- The winningest coach in OHL history is now in a must-win situation to extend his career beyond tomorrow.
Brian Kilrea saw his 67's give up the game-winner to the Niagara IceDogs' Marco Isnam with 3 1/2 minutes left last night and lose 4-3 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarter-final at Jack Gatecliff Arena.
The win gives the IceDogs a 3-2 series lead, forcing the 67's to win two games in two nights at the Civic Centre. Game 6 is tomorrow (7 p.m., Rogers 22), followed by Game 7, if necessary, on Tuesday (also 7 p.m.).
Trailing 3-2 after two periods last night, the 67's mounted a furious rally in the final 20 minutes.
Anthony Nigro tied it with his second of the game at 12:36 of the third -- when the 67's outshot Niagara 17-5, but couldn't take the lead.
OFF TO FAST START
Ottawa did score early for the second straight game.
Ryan Martindale took advantage of a fortunate bounce that handed him the puck right in front of the net, and he snapped a shot past Jeremy Smith to open the scoring at 1:46.
But the IceDogs, who needed six minutes to record their first shot, scored the next three goals before Nigro's first of the game at 15:05 of the second brought the 67's to within one.
With 67's goalie Adam Courchaine pulled for an extra attacker, Nigro had one last chance to tie the game, but Smith grabbed his deflection in front.
Courchaine stopped 26-of-30 shots in the losing effort.