Now that was more like it.
With the pressure on and in a virtual must-win setting, Elliot Lake Wildcats returned to the victory column in front of their home fans on Monday night.
The Wildcats went all out and blanked the Sudbury Nickel Barons 8-0 to reduce their deficit to 2-1 in the best-of-seven, Northern Ontario Jr. Hockey League playoff series.
Sudbury, which finished below Elliot Lake during the regular season, had won the first two games of the playoff series by a combined score of 9-3.
Not only was Monday’s win for Elliot Lake a much-needed one, the Wildcats managed to light up Sudbury goalie Jessie Morin, chasing him from the net after two periods and eight goals.
Morin had stopped 77 of 80 shots as the Nickel Barons won Games 1 and 2.
To be sure, the Nickel Barons still hold home-ice advantage as they return to McClelland Arena in Copper Cliff for Game 4 on Wednesday with a 2-1 series lead.
But the Wildcats at least seized some lost momentum with Monday’s decisive victory and have a chance to tie the series on Wednesday and regain home-ice advantage.