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Saint John Sea Dogs goaltender Alexandre Theriault (right) and forward Nathan Beaulieu (28) react as Kootenay Ice forward Kevin King (centre) celebrates his goal during second period Memorial Cup action in Mississauga, Ontario, on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn

Frank Gunn/CP

Don't count the Kootenay Ice out quite yet.

The WHL champs finally gave a little life to their Memorial Cup chances on Tuesday night, staving off elimination with a 5-4 come-from-behind overtime win over the Saint John Sea Dogs.

After scoring just once in losing their first two games, Kootenay's offence came alive in this one, as the Ice rallied from down 2-0 late in the second period to score four goals in 15 minutes for a 4-3 lead.

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Saint John tied the game with 15 seconds remaining in regulation, but Ice veteran Matt Fraser emerged as the hero, scoring the winner four minutes into OT to give his team its first win of the tournament.

"It was frustrating watching them get a late goal," Fraser said. "But good teams rebound. Going into overtime everyone in the room knew we were going to get the goal, and that's what we did.

"Everyone just said to get pucks on net. It wasn't going to be a nice goal. Any puck on the net isn't a bad one - that's what we wanted to do, and it worked out for us."

They will now face the loser of Wednesday's tilt between the Mississauga St. Michael's Majors and Owen Sound Attack in Thursday's tie-breaker.

"With all the things that happened tonight, I think we deserved a break," said Ice head coach Kris Knoblauch. "We're going to see a few more elimination games, hopefully, to get to Sunday."

While the game was do or die for the Ice, it was relatively meaningless for the Sea Dogs, who were 2-0 coming in and remain the favourites to win. With a bye to Sunday's final already clinched, Saint John scratched key veterans in Simon Despres, Danny Gauthier, Michael Kirkpatrick and sat starting netminder Jacob DeSerres.

The Sea Dogs now have four days off to get ready for the big game, with the tournament's other three teams locked in a battle for the right to play them.

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With files from The Canadian Press

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Hockey Reporter

James joined The Globe as an editor and reporter in the sports department in 2005 and now covers the NHL and the Toronto Maple Leafs. More

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