BOSTON, Mass. - Midfielder Brad Ross scored the game-winning goal just 27 seconds into overtime as the Boston Cannons (9-3) rallied from a late deficit to earn their third straight win, a 16-15 Major League Lacrosse victory over the Rochester Rattlers (2-10) in the regular season finale for both teams at Harvard Stadium on Saturday evening.
Ross, who earned Bud Light Player of the Game honors, scored off a pass from attackman Matt Poskay with 9:33 remaining in the extra period as the Cannons scored twice in a 30-second span to get the victory.
After the Cannons jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Poskay and midfielder Mike Stone, the Rattlers tied the game with two goals in a 65-second span. The teams traded goals before midfielder Paul Rabil scored a power-play goal off an assist from midfielder Kevin Buchanan to give Boston a 4-3 advantage with 18 seconds left in the first quarter.
Attackman Ned Crotty tied the game at 4-4 early in the second quarter with an unassisted goal before the Cannons answered with two goals from Buchanan and rookie defenseman Brian Farrell to regain a 6-4 lead.
But, the Rattlers responded with three straight goals, including a pair of markers from rookie attackman Grant Catalino, to take a 7-6 advantage with 4:53 left in the first half. However, Boston countered with a three-point run, including a two-point goal from Rabil, to end the first half with a 9-7 advantage.
The Rattlers tied the game at 9-9 in the first five minutes of the second half with goals from Crotty and rookie attackman Jordan McBride, but the Cannons answered with three straight goals to regain a 12-9 cushion with 5:05 left in the third quarter.
The Rattlers put together a three-goal run over a four-minute span to even the score at 12-12 before the Cannons used goals from Buchanan and attackman Max Quinzani to gain a 14-12 edge with 10 minutes remaining in regulation.
But, the Rattlers had another answer by scoring three consecutive goals, including a pair of markers from midfielder Martin Cahill, to regain the advantage at 15-14 with 2:49 left.
With just three seconds remaining, Buchanan tallied his third goal of the game off a feed from attackman Ryan Boyle to force the extra session and set up Ross' heroics.
Rabil led the Cannons to the victory by scoring three goals, including a two-point marker, and contributed two assists while Buchanan added a three-goal, two-assist effort. Poskay scored twice and added two assists as the Cannons outshot Rochester by a commanding 57-45 margin.
Crotty led Rochester in a losing effort by scoring three goals with an assist while Cahill and McBride each added a "hat trick." Goalkeeper John Galloway made 18 saves, including eight in the third quarter, for the Rattlers, who end the season with a three-game losing streak.
The Cannons will face the Chesapeake Bayhawks in the first semi-final of the 2011 Sports Authority MLL Championship Weekend on Saturday, August 27 at 12 p.m.
Major League Lacrosse: Boston Cannons 16, Chesapeake Bayhawks 15 (OT) Rochester (2-10) 3-4-4-4-0 / 15 Boston (9-3) 4-5-3-3-1 / 16