Today in Worcester hockey history: February 29

25B

2004 vs Utah 4-3 OTL
(ICECATS) The Worcester IceCats held a 3-1 advantage after two periods but couldn’t hold on against the Utah Grizzlies Sunday at Worcester’s Centrum Centre. The ‘Cats earned a point but fell in overtime 4-3. Utah’s Trevor Daley tied the game with 38 seconds left in regulation, then scored the game-winner on a breakaway with 51 seconds remaining in overtime. The heroics followed Zenon Konopka’s goal to pull the Grizzlies within one. Mike Glumac, Mark Brown and Johnny Pohl all scored for Worcester. Brown, who also had an assist, snapped a streak of 14 games without a goal. Curtis Sanford took the overtime loss with 22 saves. The IceCats earned a point in the standings despite the overtime defeat. They are tied with the Portland Pirates in fourth place, as both teams have 63 points. That sets up an exciting mid-week battle when the ‘Cats travel to Portland this Wednesday night.

2008 vs Manchester 2-1 win
(WORSHARKS) Behind 28 saves by Thomas Greiss and goals by Derek Joslin and Tom Cavanagh, the Worcester Sharks inched closer to the final Atlantic Division playoff spot with a thrilling 2-1 win over the Manchester Monarchs in front of 7,048 fans on Friday evening at the DCU Center. The Sharks, wearing a special jersey in honor of the Special Olympics Opening Ceremonies that were held prior to the game, fell behind 1-0 but scored the final two goals to come away with the victory. With Springfield falling to Albany, the Sharks are now only nine points behind the Falcons for the fourth and final playoff spot with four games in hand. Worcester stands five points behind Manchester for fifth. In his return to Worcester from the San Jose Sharks, Greiss stopped 28 of 29 shots. For Manchester, former UMass All-American Jonathan Quick, making his first professional appearance in the state of Massachusetts, made 15 saves on 17 shots. At 4:20 of the first period, Manchester had the game’s first scoring chance. With Greiss out of the play after making a save, Craig Valette was in the right place at the right time when he deflected away a Monarchs opportunity that looked ticketed to slip inside the right post. Jonathan Tremblay, playing in only his 13th game of the season, had one of his most meaningful fights at 9:05 of the first. He dropped the gloves with fellow heavyweight Paul Crosty at the blue line near the Sharks’ bench. Within a second of referee Jeff Smith blowing the play dead, the Monarchs’ Gabe Gauthier found the back of the net. The red goal light went on, but was clearly after the whistle, keeping the game scoreless. Manchester held the 10-6 shot advantage heading into the first intermission. At 9:54 of the second period, Tom Cavanagh was called for a five-minute high sticking major after bloodying a Monarchs player. After Greiss made numerous clutch saves, he couldn’t stop a Jeff Likens shot as he scored his first of the season at 10:05. The shot came from between the two faceoff circles, beating Greiss stick side for the 1-0 lead. Patrik Hersley and Marc-Andrew Cliché were credited with the assists on the play. Exactly two minutes after Cavanagh’s penalty, Ashton Rome was called for hooking, giving Manchester a full two minutes of five-on-three hockey. The Sharks came up big with solid penalty killing and timely saves to keep the deficit at one. The best opportunity came when Hersley took a long shot and off the rebound, Lauri Tukonen found himself on the doorstep. Greiss shut the door both times and the Sharks killed off the rest of the penalty against the top power play unit in the league. Worcester rode the momentum to a power play goal of its own. Peter Kanko was called for hooking at 16:30, giving the Sharks their third man advantage of the game. In his first true test, Quick made a number of spectacular saves on a flurry of shots. He couldn’t cover the rebound while sprawled on the ice and the puck trickled out to Derek Joslin. Joslin fired a shot that beat Quick over his right shoulder to tie the score at one. Mike Iggulden and J.D. Forrest picked up the assists on the play. Despite being outshot 10-5 in the second period and 20-11 through two, the Sharks went into the locker room tied at one. After Tremblay got the crowd to its feet with another spirited bout, the Sharks capitalized on the added energy to take their first lead of the game. Forrest took a shot from the just inside the right point. The rising shot was redirected by Cavanagh inside the left post for his 14th of the season and second in as many games. Along with Forrest, Lukas Kaspar picked up the other assist on the play. The Monarchs pulled Quick in hopes of a late rally, but Greiss continued to stand tall. Manchester held the final shot advantage, 29-17. For Worcester, it was its lowest shot output of the season.

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