A match-winning goal from Anton Kokkonen inside the final two minutes has given the Canberra Brave a thrilling 3-2 victory against the Newcastle North Stars.
The Brave had to withstand a gallant fightback from the North Stars before Kokkonen sealed the victory in front of a packed house at the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre on Saturday night.
The win puts the Brave back into the top two on the Australian Ice Hockey League standings before Sunday's trip up the Hume Highway to take on the Sydney Bears at Baulkham Hills.
The Brave has six games left in the regular season as it attempts to complete a remarkable rookie campaign and qualify for the finals weekend in Melbourne at the end of this month.
Captain Mark Rummukainen said it was an important victory and his side would need to replicate that type of performance against the Bears.
"The Bears are out of play-off contention, but we can't take any team for granted as we look to solidify our position in the standings,'' Rummukainen said.
"We've got a tough schedule coming up with a home series against the Mustangs and a trip to Adelaide.
"It's about maintaining our form and playing the type of hockey we're capable of.''
After a scoreless opening period, the Brave took control of the game to establish a 2-0 lead.
Stephen Blunden found the net for the Brave's first goal courtesy of an assist from Kokkonen and Mathieu Ouellette.
The Brave's second goal came from a powerplay, Ouelette again involved in the lead-up, as was Aaron Clayworth, with Blunden finishing for his double.
The North Stars came storming back in the final period before Kokkonen sent the fans home happy.
"We got a bit sloppy when we were up 2-0,'' Rummukainen said.
"We didn't want to let it slip and used it as a bit of motivation to make sure we got the result.''
AIHL: Canberra Brave 3 bt Newcastle North Stars 2 at the Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre on Saturday night.