The Belleville Bulls are moving on.
Nick Palmieri scored three times and Luke Pither had two of his own as the Belleville beat the Niagara IceDogs 5-2 on Thursday to clinch their OHL Eastern Conference semifinal 4-1. Mike Murphy made 39 saves in the win, while Bryan Cameron and Eric Tangradi chipped in with two assists each.
Mathew Sisca replied with both goals for the IceDogs.
Elsewhere in the OHL, it was: Windsor 5 Plymouth 2; and Brampton 4 Mississauga-St. Michael's 2.
At Belleville, Ont., the Bulls took a 3-0 lead into the third period before Sisca gave Niagara hope with just over six minutes remaining.
The joy was short-lived as Palmieri restored Belleville's three goal advantage just 34 seconds later.
Sisca scored again for the IceDogs with less than four minutes to go, before Palmieri iced it with his third of the game into an empty net.
Jeremy Smith stopped 38 shots in taking the loss for Niagara.
Both teams finished 1-for-3 on the power play.
The Bulls await the winner of the other East semifinal between the Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors and the Brampton Battalion. Brampton leads that series 3-2.
Spitfires 5 Whalers 2
At Windsor, Ont., Taylor Hall had a goal and two assists and Andrew Engelage made 21 saves as the Spitfires beat Plymouth to take a 3-2 series lead in their Western Conference semifinal.
Battalion 4 Majors 2
At Brampton, Ont., Cody Hodgson had a goal and two assists as Brampton defeated Mississauga-St. Michael's in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal series.