There is joy in Houndtown.
Temporary relief, too.
Two third-period goals — one with just over seven minutes to play and the other into an empty net as the clock ticked down to two seconds — snapped a 2-2 score and sent 4,925 frantic fans home happy from a Thursday night thriller.
Final score: Soo Greyhounds 4, Erie Otters 2.
The desperate, home-ice victory for the Soo extends the best-of-seven, Ontario Hockey League, Western Conference playoff to a Game 6 on Saturday night in Erie with the Otters leading the series 3-2.
Should the Hounds extend the series to a seventh-and-deciding game, it will be played on Monday night at the Essar Centre in the Soo.
To be sure, Erie had no business even being in position to win Game 5 as the restless hands of time ticked away in the third period.
The Greyhounds were the much-better team from start to finish, out-playing and out-shooting the visitors by a wide margin, 40 shots to 28, in all.
But it took the third-period go-ahead goal by Bryan Moore and Gabe Guertler’s short-handed, empty-net tally to finally oust the Otters.
And while Erie goalie Devin Williams earned first-star honours by keeping his team in the game, Soo stopper Brandon Halverson saved his best for the final minute of the game when the Otters pressed hard for the equalizer, only to be denied.
Jared McCann and Michael Bunting were the other Soo scorers while Travis Dermott and Nick Baptiste put pucks past Halverson.