The Clarenville Caribous have all but locked up first place with their shootout win over the Mt. Pearl Blades on Saturday night.
The final score was 4-3 with captain Dustin Russell providing the game's winner.
The first period saw little action aside from a Blades power play marker.
The second period was a completely different affair with goals coming fast and often.
Steve Yetman potted his eleventh of the campaign moments before the Blades restored their lead.
A dirty bounce off the backboards allowed Blade's Colin Power an easy goal which afforded Caribous net-minder Devin O'Brien little chance.
Five minutes later, Andrew Sweetland's drive to the net paid off and the game was tied up again at twos.
The Blades went ahead again on a floater from the blue line off Tyler Gale's stick. It was their second second time that evening penalties had cost the Caribous.
However, Chris Hulit even the score four minutes after that from a Dale Sullivan feed.
The third period, again, saw little action except for a scary moment when Steve Yetman was sandwiched by a pair of blades and was slow to get to his feet. He did not return to the game.
Nearing the end of the game, Blades forward Andrew Pearcy thought he scored the games go-ahead but it was called back on a Blades penalty behind the action.
At the end of regulation shots were 41-37, with 24 shots coming from the Caribous in the third stanza alone.
The first four Caribous were turned away or missed the net, only Mt. Pearl player managed to beat O'Brien, leaving Dale Sullivan with the game on his stick and he did not dissapoint, sliding it past Roger Kennedy.
Chris Mooney missed on the Blades final shot, allowing extra shooters back into the fold.
Both Caribou and Blades players missed on their next attempt when coach Hapgood asked Russell to reshoot.
Once the captain potted his attempt it came to down O'Brien to preserve the victory, which he did by turning away Ryan Bellows attempt.
It was O'Briens fourth win in five starts this year, which gives the Caribous and solid backup should regular starter Jason Churchill be unavailable, something Hapgood said has given his team tremendous confidence.
"The opportunity presented itself and O'Brien ran with it," commented Hapgood after the game. "It's no secret Church is our (number one) guy, but O'Brien provides a great morale boost for the team. I know Church feels good about it."
The victory was bittersweet, however, with Hapgood stating Yetman's injury, which was sustained on his left knee, could sideline him until the playoffs.
The Caribous will face the CeeBee Stars tomorrow, Jan. 29, at the Clarenville Events Centre at 1:30 PM.