The Yellowstone Quake knew how important a victory was when they faced the Vancouver Victory (11-12) on Sunday afternoon at the Riley Arena.
It was a physical battle, but in the second period the Quake (11-12) pulled ahead and didn't look back, winning 5-4.
"It was a huge win," forward Alex Johansons said. "This was our third time playing them at home and it was huge to split the series with Vancouver 3-3."
The Victory scored first in the opening period on a power play. At the 19:59 mark Matt Schulz netted the first score for the Quake, tying the game 1-1.
Early in the second Vancouver added a goal to take the lead, but the Quake jumped back with a Zach Tuchklaper goal to even the game at 2.
Trailing 3-2 later in the second, the Quake rallied for three straight goals.
Forward Drew Parus added a goal to even the score at three, before Schulz scored his second of the game for the lead. Parus pushed the lead to 5-3, with his second goal of the night.
Late in the period Vancouver added a goal to come within one, but that's as close as they would get.
"We had to have this," coach Joe Cardarelli said. "We came in thinking two-of-three was realistic. We did give up a point last night (overtime victories add a point to records), but we needed to get the win tonight."
The Quake and Victory each have 24 points in the NorPac standings. A win is two points and an overtime loss is one point. Both teams have two overtime losses.
The Southern Oregon Spartans and Seattle Totems are first and second in league play, respectively.
The series started with a 4-2 loss for the Quake, a game in which they never held the lead. Bouncing back Saturday, the team added two goals in the third to tie the game, before it went to a shootout.
Schulz got one past the Victory for the 4-3 win.
"The shootout win definitely gave us momentum," Johansons said after Sunday's game. "Everyone on the team was fired up to come back in the third period and get a win like that. It motivated us to come out today and fight for the win."
Schulz and Parus led the team in scoring during the weekend series. Both scored four times during the three games.
Johansons, Tuchklaper and Travis Momon each added goals during the weekend as well.
"Our guys played with a lot of heart this weekend," Cardarelli said. "And we were able to get things done."
The Quake will hit the road for a three game series with the Glacier Nationals on Dec. 9-11.
They will then be off until Jan 6-7, when they return to Riley Arena for a series with the Nationals.
Now, the importance of getting three wins next weekend is on everyone's mind.
"We've got to give it everything we've have before we go on break," Johansons said.