Salem Takes Second Straight Title

In BOS, News on March 29, 2018 at 7:01 pm

Entering game 7 of their Gump Cup Final series, the Boston franchise was looking for its first championship since 1998. At stake for Salem: A second straight title and its fifth in six years.

The Sabercats opened the scoring early, Jeff Carter feeding Gustav Nyquist and the puck bouncing in off the post in a goal that was emblematic of what was to come for the Banshees.

Salem carried that lead into the second period, and then carried the game away with trio of goals in just three and a half minutes — first, Bo Horvat beat Matt Murray on a 2-on-1 with Paul Byron, then Patrick Marleau made Zdeno Chara pay for a costly minor with a PP goal, and Logan Couture scored on a breakaway. Horvat would add another goal later in the period, and just like that, in front of a shocked Boston crowd, the dynasty held a 5-0 lead.

The third found the Sabercats playing a cautious game — they would manage just two shots on Murray all period — and Boston pouring it on. But for most of the period, either Fredrik Andersen or bad puck luck (like a Nick Leddy post and an Artem Anisimov whiff on a rebound) got in the way.

With 3:48 left, Alexander Wennberg finally solved Murray after Ryan Ellis cut off a Horvat clearing pass. Then Charlie Coyle split the D to make it 5-2 with under two minutes remaining. But it was, to put it mildly, way too little, way too late. Salem hung on to secure the big 5-2 road victory in game 7 and another banner for its rafters. The Cats are getting older now, but they showed they had at least one more life in them.


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