He was in red-hot -form, but Blake Govers' goal hat-trick was not enough as his NSW Pride went down 5-3 in a penalty shootout against Brisbane Blaze in Sunday's Hockey One League men's grand final in Canberra.
The Illawarra world-class sharpshooter scored three brilliant drag flicks in the 3-3 draw, with the equaliser coming in the game's final seconds to take the contest to a penalty shootout at the Lyneham National Hockey Centre.
Fellow Illawarra talent Flynn Ogilvie shot his penalty over the bar, which was followed by successful conversions from Tim Brand, Ky Willott and Govers before the Blaze's captain Jake Whetton scored the winning goal to deny the Pride their third title.
The Pride women also lost their title, going down to the Canberra Chill 4-1 in the semi-final and adding further misery by losing the bronze medal play-off to the Perth Thundersticks 2-1 on Sunday.
Govers has emerged as one of the fastest drag flickers in the world. He amassed a total of seven goals in the finals series, adding to his four goals in the 6-2 win over the Tassie Tigers in last Saturday's semi-final.
An upset Govers was lost for words after Sunday's loss, saying it was a tough game and the team had enough ball to not take the game to a shootout. Pride captain Jack Hayes was also disappointed with the result, adding that his team beat the Blaze on all the statistics except the most important one - the scoreboard.
"Whilst there was some crucial umpiring mistakes in the last quarter that we were on the wrong end of, we still had more than enough chances to win it," Hayes said.
"We were lucky we jagged a shootout out of it to be honest. We didn't capitalise on our chances."
It was Brisbane who held the early initiative two minutes into the second quarter when Cale Cramer scored in the goalmouth and converted his goal for a 2-0 lead before Govers hit back in the fifth minute with his trade mark flick from a third penalty corner.
Corey Weyer increased Brisbane's lead to 3-1 from his second penalty corner, with a low drag flick to go into the game's major break.
Govers then brought back the Pride into the game with another drag flick in the eighth minute of the final quarter, completing his hat-trick in the last seconds of the game to give his side hope.
Meanwhile, it was also a disappointing day for the Pride women to lose their title to Canberra 4-1 after taking a one-goal lead. They then lost the third-place playoff to Perth by 2-1.
Albion Park Hockeyroo and Pride co-captain Maddi Smith was left disappointed by the semi loss, after putting in a sterling performance in defence to get her team going forward.
"Canberra came out hard and we were on the back foot. They converted their opportunities well and we couldn't just find the net - that's finals I guess. You have to take those chances," Smith said.
"The bronze playoff game was probably the fastest game we played all year. Both sides moved the ball well but again we just didn't get the ball in the net enough. It was a cracking game.
"Overall, it was a good season with plenty of debutants and experience gained."