The Missouri Comets pulled off a dramatic 9-8 overtime win over the expansion Cedar Rapids Rampage last night at the Silverstein Eye Centers Arena, coming back from three goals down in the final three minutes of regulation to force overtime. The winning goal by Robert Palmer though should not have counted and the game should have been decided with a shootout.
The MASL rule book states in section 7.4(b) that the overtime period for the game should be 10 minutes long and if a winner is not decided by that 10 minute time period, a five second shootout is used to determine the winner. Last night the referees put 15 minutes on the clock at the start of overtime, and Palmer's goal for the Comets officially came with 3:23 left on the clock (although the below picture shows the ball over the line with 3:25 left).
There's certainly a lot of people at fault for this situation, both teams and the referees should all know the rules by which the league plays by, and it's not like the overtime rule has changed from last year to this year, the 10 minute overtime was used last season as well. You have to certainly put most of th blame for this on the referees for not getting the rule correct in the first place.
There's been no comment from the league regarding the mistake and the timing, one would expect if something does come it likely will not come until Monday. The Rampage certainly have reason to protest the result of last night's game because of the clock mistake, but similar to the recent situation between the Miami and Duke in football, I don't think the league will have any sort of recourse for this other than to punish the officials in charge of the game.