Fort Macleod Mustangs are engaged in an epic battle with Lomond Lakers in their Ranchland Hockey League semifinal series.
The teams split two weekend games and the best-of-seven series is tied 2-2 heading into the fifth game Friday, March 1 at Lomond.
The sixth game is set for 8:30 p.m. Saturday, March 2 at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.
The seventh game, if necessary, will be played Sunday, March 3 at Lomond.
In the other semifinal series regular season champion Nanton Palominos beat Pincher Creek Huskies 5-3 and 5-0 on the weekend to sweep the series in four games.
Mustangs 3 Lakers 2
Chase Hofer scored with five minutes to play Friday to force overtime, and then popped the winner for Fort Macleod.
The 3-2 win gave the Mustangs, who finished third in the regular season, a 2-1 series lead over the second-place Lakers.
The game was a thriller, with Lomond getting the only goal of the first period from Manny Yellow Fly.
The Mustangs tied the game just 1:49 into the second period on a goal by Tyler Bilodeau, assisted by Tyce Gallamore.
Mid way through the second period Devery Edmonds scored to give Lomond a 2-1 lead.
Fort Macleod goalie Cody Hall and Lomond counterpart Danny Wiik dominated the shooters on Friday night, and the game remained tied until Hofer banged one home with five minutes left in the game, unassisted.
That set the stage for a thrilling overtime period that was finally settled by Hofer’s second goal, assisted by Shay Prairie Chicken.
Lakers 6 Mustangs 3
The Lakers came out flying on Sunday and had a 2-0 lead before the game was two minutes old on back-to-back goals by David Foord.
Fort Macleod got one back 12 minutes later when Jadon Porterfield and Lander Marr combined to set up Greg Schimanski.
Foord completed his first-period hat trick with just 16 seconds on the clock and Lomond took a 3-1 lead into the dressing room.
Clayton Wiest scored almost seven minutes into the second period to put Lomond up 4-1.
With just 20 seconds left in the period Gallamore scored a powerplay goal, assisted by goalie Hall, to cut Lomond’s lead to 4-2.
Just under two minutes into the third period the Mustangs pulled to within a goal when Porterfield scored, assisted by Prairie Chicken.
The Lakers got a powerplay goal from Rustin Murray six minutes later and then cemented the 6-3 win with a goal by Dustin Brosz mid way through the third period.