The Yellowstone Quake spent the third period Saturday night at Riley Arena deadlocked with the West Sound Warriors.
The game marked the end of a three-game series with the Warriors (6-5), the first time the two teams had faced off this season.
The Quake (6-7) started the series with a solid, 11-2 victory Thursday night and kept the momentum moving forward with a 7-6 victory Friday.
But with 25 seconds left Saturday night, in a game that had been tied since the end of the second period, the Warriors dropped the winning, power-play goal in the net to steal the 4-3 win.
"We need to get better as a team and need to be able to play 60 minutes," coach Joe Cardarelli said after the game Saturday. "We were better than we were last week, but I'm disappointed.
"I felt we should have put them away tonight."
The Quake started Saturday's game on a power play, but the Warriors jumped to an early lead and netted a shorthanded goal, just 1:30 into the game.
West Sound held the lead until midway through the first period. After forward Drew Parus was called for hooking, forward Matt Schulz netted a shorthanded, unassisted goal for the Quake.
But the game didn't stay tied for long. Twenty seconds later on the same West Sound power play, the Warriors regained the lead.
The score stayed 2-1 until the 13:10 mark in the second period, when Schulz added his second goal of the night. He was assisted by Darek Scott and Mike O'Meara.
Later in the period, forward Drew Parus added another goal on a power play, giving the Quake a 3-2 lead.
They held the lead until the end of the second, but with one tick left before the stopping buzzer, the Warriors added a quick goal to even the game at three.
At the end of the third, the Warriors added the winning goal.
"We didn't get enough consistent play shift after shift," Cardarelli said. "I don't know if it had to do with having such a big win the first day, but we need to be more consistent."
On Thursday, the Quake started the scoring early and didn't stop. Parus netted two first-period goals, and Schulz and Michael Pijanowski added goals of their own before the Warriors got on the scoreboard.
Parus finished the game with a hat trick, and Pijanowski and Schulz each added another goal. On the night, three other Quake players added to the lopsided, 11-2 score.
Friday night, the game was more evenhanded.
The Warriors jumped to a 2-0 lead halfway through the first period before Schulz added one for the Quake on a power play. Just a minute later, TJay Lozier added another.
Schulz gave the Quake the lead a minute into the second, but the Warriors then scored three quick goals, two of which came on power plays.
Schulz added his third of the night at the end of the second.
In the third Parus scored twice, and Zach Tuchklaper added one of his own. The Quake took the game 7-6.
Overall, the crowds at Riley Arena were just above average. Friday the crowd was estimated at 475, and Saturday the total was a little more than 500.
"We had great support from the fans this weekend and that always ripples through the arena," Cardarelli said.
The Quake are heading on a long road trip to the West Coast this weekend.
On Friday, Nov. 11, they'll head to Eugene, Ore., to face the Generals. They then will go against the Vancouver, Wash., Victory on Nov. 12-14.
On Nov. 15, they face West Sound again, before stopping for a series with the Glacier Nationals.
"We have to come ready to work on Monday," Cardarelli said. "We need to strengthen our play and be ready for the road and seven games in nine days."