HC Melbourne have been edged 4-3 on penalties after being held 1-1 at home by third-placed Adelaide in the final regular season match before the inaugural women's Hockey One semi-finals.
Despite Sunday's narrow loss, Melbourne maintained their lead at the top of the table and will face Canberra Chill in the last four next weekend.
Meanwhile Adelaide will hope to continue their recent winning run, following their impressive 4-0 drubbing of the Chill last week, when they take on second-placed Brisbane in the semi-finals.
In a tense final match of the regular season, the Fire were the first to strike with Karri McMahon's 53rd-minute goal at the State Netball and Hockey Centre in Melbourne.
But the hosts levelled the scores via Kristina Bates' strike on the stroke of fulltime.
However, Melbourne's Bates and joint league top-scorer Madeleine Ratcliffe both missed their chances in the penalty shootout to hand the win to Adelaide.
In Saturday's matches, second-placed Brisbane kept their noses in front of Adelaide with a 2-0 home victory over NSW.
Jodie Kenny put the Blaze ahead in the 26th minute, while Maddy Fitzpatrick doubled their lead in the 41st minute.
In the day's earlier match Tassie and Perth, two sides mathematically unable to make the semi-finals, played out an eight goal thriller at the Tasmanian Hockey Centre.
Karri Somerville put the Thundersticks ahead in the fourth minute, while Tigers star Sarah McCambridge pulled one back in the 25th.
Tassie's Sophie Rockerfeller scored and converted the resulting challenge goal to put the hosts up 3-1 just one minute before halftime.
Renee Rockliff brought Perth within one goal of the hosts in the 47th minute, but ten minutes later Phillida Bridley scored and converted a challenge to make it 5-2.
The Thundersticks pushed hard to get back into the game but only found a breakthrough with Jade Vanderzwan's goal on fulltime.
Meanwhile, Canberra Chill enjoyed a bye this round after their humbling in Adelaide last week.