The Atlanta Blaze took charge with an eight-point run and held off a final charge from Boston to close out the season with an 18-16 win over the Cannons on Saturday at Harvard Stadium.
Though it had been eliminated from contention for a Major League Lacrosse playoff berth, Atlanta (6-8) was able to double the win total from its expansion season of 2016.
Down 7-2 early in the second quarter, the Blaze whittled away Boston’s lead and went into halftime down 8-7. Trailing 11-8, Atlanta began the push that turned the game in its favor.
The Blaze tied the score at 11-all on Graeme Hossack’s 2-point goal with 6:05 left in the third quarter, only 9 seconds after Hossack assisted Kevin Rice’s goal, then took the lead with another Rice goal with 1:44 left.
After Rice’s 2-pointer with 1 second left in the period made it 14-11, the run stretched to 16-11 before Boston (3-11) ended its dry spell on Kylor Belistri’s goal with 9:01 left.
The Cannons went on to cut the Blaze’s lead to two with a three-point run, but Atlanta was eventually able to close out the win.
Rice led the Blaze with five goals, including his 2-pointer, and two assists. Matt Mackrides, Brian Sherlock and John Uppgren each had two goals, while Scott Ratliff opened the scoring for Atlanta with a 2-point goal.
Brent Hiken was 15-of-31 on faceoffs, and Adam Ghitelman saved 15 of the 31 shots he faced in the Atlanta goal.
Five players had two goals apiece for Boston.