The South Okanagan Flames had the number of the defending champions up until Monday night.
Jake Macleod’s second goal of the game with 53 seconds left broke a 10-10 tie and Freddy Harbinson added an empty-netter with 13 seconds to go as the Flames defeated the Vernon Tigers 12-10 in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League play Saturday at Kal Tire Place.
But the Tigers returned the favour with a 9-6 win on Monday night in Penticton.
The Flames (4-6-1) have all four of their wins and a tie in six games against the Tigers (3-7-1) this season.
The Flames have lost all five of their meetings with the first-place Kamloops Venom (8-2-0). Kamloops, however, has lost two games to Vernon.
Cairo Rogers paced the Flames with four goals on Saturday, Logan Cote scored twice and Ethan Konno piled up a goal and five assists.
Alex Nimmo and Aidan Danby also scored for the Flames, who were outshot 51-44. Flames led 5-4 after one period and the game was tied 8-8 after two periods.
Kaden Doughty had four goals, Connor Webb two and Kael Black, Liam Cyr, Jacob Brewer and Stephane Richard one apiece for the Tigers.
Vernon hosts Kamloops again on Wednesday, then the Flames visit Kamloops on Saturday and once again host Vernon Monday, June 17 at 7:30 p.m. at Memorial Arena.
The Flames finish up the 14-game schedule by hosting Kamloops Friday, July 21.
Kamloops needs just one more win or a Flames loss to clinch first place and a bye in the first round of the playoffs.
The other two teams – likely the Flames and Vernon – will meet in the semifinal round.