BELLEVILLE, Ont. - With his team's life on the line, Nick Palmieri answered the call.
Palmieri stuffed home a rebound on a power play in double overtime for his second goal of the game as the Belleville Bulls stayed alive in the Ontario Hockey League Eastern Conference final with a 3-2 win over the Brampton Battalion on Thursday night. The series stands at 3-2 in favour of Brampton, who threw everything they could at Bulls netminder Mike Murphy. Murphy finished with 54 saves, including 19 in the extra periods.
Palmieri has been Belleville's most productive offensive player in the conference final, scoring seven goals in the last three games, including a hat trick as part of a five-point performance in Game 3. He opened the scoring 51 seconds into Game 5 - a goal that stood until Cody Hodgson found the net less than a minute into the second period to tie the game at 1-1.
Matthew Tipoff, who assisted on Palmieri's winner, scored on a power play later in the second to give the Bulls the lead again before Evgeny Grachev scored his 10th goal of the post-season with 10 seconds remaining in the period to make it 2-2.
Hodgson assisted on Grachev's goal. He leads the Battalion in playoff scoring with 24 points in 15 games.
P.K. Subban added two assists for Belleville, while Thomas McCollum stopped 33 shots for Brampton.
Eric Tangradi, the Bulls' leading scorer during the regular season, left the game in the first period after sustaining a cut on his left hand. He did not return and is questionable for Game 6 on Friday in Brampton, Ont.