Battalion in control

PAUL SVOBODA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:12 AM ET

Even the gold jerseys didn't help.

And, the Belleville Bulls didn't help their own cause, blowing a 2-0 lead and losing 4-3 to the Brampton Battalion in Game 4 of the OHL's Eastern Conference final last night at the Powerade Centre in Brampton.

The Battalion puts a 3-1 stranglehold on the best-of-seven series with Game 5 in Belleville at 7:15 p.m. tomorrow.

The Bulls pulled out their gold jerseys for the first time in the 2009 playoffs last night, and early on it looked like the magic of the original sweaters was working.

Nick Palmieri, coming off a hat trick in Game 3, tallied twice for the Bulls -- his team-leading ninth and 10th of the playoffs -- while Bryan Cameron (7) had the other Bulls goal. P.K. Subban earned two assists.

Brampton got two tallies from Scott Tanski and solo markers from Matt Duchene and Thomas Stajan. Matt Kang picked up a pair of helpers.

The Bulls put the Battalion under pressure early in the game and forced some turnovers but seemed to stray from the game plan as the contest progressed. The Bulls led 1-0 after 20 minutes, were up 2-0 early in the second period and ahead 2-1 going into the third when Brampton scored three straight goals to grab the lead and control of the series.

Palmieri opened the scoring at 4:03 when he rifled a short-side wrist shot past Brampton netminder Thomas McCollum from the left faceoff circle. The Bulls then were foiled by McCollum on a couple of excellent scoring chance.

Belleville's defensive work was equally impressive in the first frames, highlighted by an outstanding kill of a 5-on-3 Brampton power play that lasted 1:28.

The Bulls extended their lead to 2-0 after converting a power play early in the second stanza when Cameron got a piece of a Subban point shot on the way past McCollum at 3:04.

Brampton got on the board late in the second period when Duchene scored off a spin move at 17:54.

Brampton tied the game just two minutes into the final frame, then Tanski gave the Battalion its first lead 90 seconds later when he scored in close on another rebound. Tanksi tallied again at 13:47 on a deep 2-on-1 off a Belleville turnover behind the net.


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