MOLINE, Ill. – The Denver Cutthroats locked up a playoff spot in their inaugural season of play after earning a point in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Quad City Mallards on Tuesday night at iWireless Center in front of 2,025.
The Cutthroats (29-26-9) trailed 3-0 in the game before forcing overtime with a comeback effort. The Fish fall one point back of Quad City (31-26-6) in the standings for sixth place. Mathematically the Cutthroats can finish the season as high as sixth in the league or as low as eighth.
Patrick Levesque tallied the overtime-winner for the Mallards deflecting a shot at 2:23 of the extra frame.
Jamie MacQueen began the comeback effort for Denver with a power play tally from the slot with 4:01 left in the second.
In the third, Michael Trebish made it a 3-2 deficit with a wrist shot off the post from the point at 3:42. Joel Chouinard knotted the score at 11:41 of the third on the power play from the center of the blue line.
Kent Patterson stopped 17-of-21 shots for the Cutthroats in the loss. John Murray turned aside 34 shots in the win for the Mallards.
Denver finished 2-for-4 on the power play while the Mallards went 1-for-5.
Mickey Lang on the power play, Jason Kostadine, and Jason Dixon each scored for the Mallards in the second to build Quad City’s initial lead.
The Cutthroats close out their regular season with a weekend set at Rapid City beginning on Friday at 7:05 PM MST.
1. John Murray (QDC)
2. Jason Dixon (QDC)
3. Patrick Levesque (QDC)
Recap courtesy of Denver Cutthroats
Details on the playoffs from CentralHockeyLeague.com:
After Tuesday’s games, the playoff field is set for the 2013 Ray Miron President’s Cup Playoffs.
Things were determined with the first final of the night when the Missouri Mavericks erased a 2-1 deficit for a 4-2 win in Bloomington ending any hope the Blaze had of making the post-season and putting the trio of Quad City, Denver and Arizona over the finish line.
Quad City went on to beat Denver in overtime thanks to a goal from defenseman Michael Monfredo. With the Flock and the Fish both earning a point, it would have moved them into a clinched spot in the post-season regardless of the Bloomington outcome.
Arizona was idle on Tuesday and make it into the playoffs with the Bloomington loss.
The eight teams making it to the playoffs are:
Fort Worth Brahmas
Rapid City Rush
Quad City Mallards
The teams head into the final five days of the regular season with the regular season title still in doubt (Governors’ Cup) and playoff positioning still to be contested.