Houlahan's second goal of the game completed the Lancers' comeback, who had been down 3-0. The Chargers surged to an early lead thanks to goals from Dylan Lloyd, Brock Connor and Brandon Dumouchel after less than 7 1/2 minutes of play. Dumouchel netted another goal early in the third, to give Confederation a 4-2 lead.
But the never-say-die Lancers have come from behind on several occasions this year. After Houlahan, Trevor Rainville and Kyle Guillot narrowed the margin to 4-3, Mike Huntington sent the contest to overtime, scoring with 36 seconds left to play.
But a Lasalle penalty call as the final buzzer sounded seemed to spell disaster for coach Vagelli Sakellaris and company. That's when Houlahan, known far more for his rugged play on the blueline, decided to showcase his Bobby Orr skills, stripping Dumouchel of the puck and beating Jeremy Serré just 40 seconds into the extra session.
The Chargers, who finished second to St. Charles College Cardinals in league standings, will look to rebound tonight (Feb. 13) at the Gerry McCrory Countryside Sports Complex, hoping to stave off elimination.
The Cards did the expected in their opening game, bouncing the Manitoulin Mustangs 6-1. Jordan Tall and Andrew Dodge showed the way with two goals apiece. Peter Raymond and Jacob Leore netted the remaining goals for St. Charles.
The team travels to Little Current on Feb. 14, looking to book their spot in the league final.
In Division II semifinal play Wednesday, the Horizon Aigles tied their series with the Lo-Ellen Park Knights with a 5-3 win in Val Caron. The Aigles overcame a tough 6-5 loss in Game 1 on Monday night at Carmichael Arena.
David St Cyr drilled home a pair of markers, with singles from Jeremi Polsky, Kevin Thériault and Patrick Labelle. Pierce Wallingford, Sam Sedore and Adam Favot scored in a losing cause for the Knights.
The winner of the series will face the St. Benedict Bears after coach J.D. Eaton and company swept the Lively Hawks in two straight. The Bears took Game 1 on Tuesday 4-2, finishing the series off with a 5-2 victory Wednesday at the T.M. Davies Community Centre in Walden.