It had been a hectic week for 31-year-old midfielder Stephen Berger, who was traded from New York to the Boston Cannons just minutes before Tuesday’s trade deadline. The 10-year veteran, playing with his fourth Major League Lacrosse club, was a welcome addition for the young team.
Berger made a seamless transition to the lineup, scoring just 1:58 into overtime to give Boston a 17-16 win over the Charlotte Hounds Saturday night at Harvard Stadium.
The Cannons entered the weekend entangled in a three-way tie with Charlotte and Rochester for the fourth and final playoff spot with 4-5 records, and exited with a more definitive hold on the spot. Rochester plays Sunday.
After starting the season 1-5, the Cannons head into the All-Star break with a four-game winning streak.
“It was a quick turnaround to be in a Cannons uniform, but I’m excited,” Berger said. “The guys are so receptive, communication has been unbelievable and Coach [John] Tucker has the motivation to get us rolling.”
On the winning possession, Paul Rabil curled around the cage and found Berger with a centering pass.
Berger never hesitated and rifled his shot past Adam Ghitelman, adding to his four assists in his debut.
Rabil, who came in 2 points shy of the Cannons’ all-time record, scored five goals and had three assists. That brought his career total to 289, surpassing Conor Gill’s mark of 282.
Trailing, 15-14, Rabil threaded a pass to Kevin Buchanan, who corralled the pass and scored to tie the game, which featured eight lead changes, with 7:41 remaining.
Charlotte attacker Matt Danowski answered with 6:38 left, scoring his fourth goal of the game to give Charlotte a 16-15 lead. But the Cannons answered, as Buchanan scored again to tie it with 1:46 left, this time taking a pass from Berger.