Barclay Goodrow rewarded the North Bay Battalion for keeping calm despite an early deficit.
Playing their usual choking style of defence, the Battalion waited out the Guelph Storm before scoring a late power-play goal in the third period.
Goodrow then scored his 12th goal of the playoffs 2:30 into overtime as North Bay tied the Ontario Hockey League final at one game apiece with a 4-3 win Friday in Guelph.
It was the second straight night the teams had to settle things in extra time, with Jason Dickinson scoring the winner for Guelph in Game 1.
Goodrow, who leads the Battalion with 22 points in the playoffs, positioned himself alone between the faceoff circles and made no mistake on Ben Thomson's feed from the corner, beating Storm goaltender Justin Nichols with a shot off the right post and in.
Goodrow said the goal felt good after his team rebounded twice in the game to win. The Storm led 2-0 in the first period 3-2 in the third.
"That's the character we've shown all season. We get down but we stick with the game plan and we try and make the simple play and don't cheat for offence," said Goodrow.
The Battalion also showed a lot of resilience after a game they thought they deserved to win the night before.
"We lost a tough game last night and all year this team's shown a lot of character," said Battalion coach Stan Butler.
"We could have folded tonight. It's a tough building and a great team we're playing, but they chose to go the other way. As a result, we're going home 1-1."
Nick Paul had a goal and an assist for the Battalion, while Marcus McIvor and Mathew Santos also had goals.
Robby Fabbri had a pair of goals for the Storm and Steven Trojanovic chipped in with one.
North Bay's Jake Smith turned aside 21 of 24 shots for the win, while Nichols made 37 saves.
Best to come?
Guelph head coach Scott Walker gave the Battalion credit for their effort, but added that the Storm still hasn't shown their 'A' game.
"Right now, to be honest, they want it more than we do," Walker said.
"We have to put the work socks on and helmet, and get to work and see how it goes. We're a very mature team with good leadership and we'll spend a couple days here at practice getting better and then see what we can do out there."
Walker also noticed the Battalion's ability to cut off a lot of the ice, as evidenced by the Storm's 24 shots in the game.
"I think we're getting frustrated, we're not used to not being able to have a little more creativity. They're skating, they're working extremely hard against us," Walker said.
"For the most part, we knew it was going to battle. You don't get this far in the OHL and not be a good team. I think we just have to look at each other and grab on and start rolling the right way."
Things were going the Storm's way early in the game, as Steven Trojanovic's wrist shot from the boards hit Smith in the shoulder and dribbled behind him just 1:16 into the game.
Despite not getting many shots, the Storm increased their lead to 2-0 when Fabbri's cross-crease pass on a 3-on-1 got poked in by a diving McIvor.
McIvor made up for that with just under four minutes left in the period, on the power play, with a blast from the point that clanked off the far post and in.
The Battalion tied the game near the midway point of the second period, with Santos chasing down his own rebound at the crease and flipping it over Nichols.
Fabbri's second goal of the game at 15:57, his 11th of the playoffs, gave the Storm the lead once again. Zack Mitchell's drop pass between his legs went to Fabbri at the right faceoff circle and he wristed a shot through a screen and past Smith.
The Battalion pulled even at 14:32 of the third on the power play with Trojanovic in the penalty box for delay of game after shooting the puck over the glass. Paul, who also added an assist on the overtime goal, snapped a shot over Nichols' right shoulder from the top of the left faceoff circle to end the scoring in regulation.
Guelph was 0 for 2 with the man advantage, while North Bay was 2 for 5 on the power play.
The series now shifts to North Bay, Ont., for the next two games. Game 3 is Tuesday.
Drakkar 3, Foreurs 0
BAIE-COMEAU, Que. — Charles Hudon scored twice to lift the Baie-Comeau Drakkar over the Val-d'Or Foreurs 3-0 in Game 1 of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League final.
Jeremy Gregoire scored the other Drakkar goal, and added two assists for a three-point night.
Val-d'Or was held to just five shots in the third period, and was outshot 35-19 throughout the game.
Hudon put Baie-Comeau on the board halfway through the first period with his ninth goal of the post-season, and added his 10th on an empty-net shot 18:46 into the third.
Gregoire scored a power-play goal to put the Drakkar up 2-0 at 7:27 of the final frame.
Baie-Comeau goalie Philippe Cadorette made 19 saves for the shutout, while Foreurs netminder Antoine Bideau turned aside 32 shots in the losing effort.
The Drakkar host Game 2 on Saturday.