GWMHL

Plante Playoff Preview: Salem vs. Baltimore

In BAL, SAL, Special Features on April 2, 2019 at 10:47 am

The series: (1) Salem (56-20-6) vs. (4) Baltimore (37-33-12)

Scoring leaders:
Salem: Kopitar (82, 46-60-106), Couture (78, 42-34-76), Gourde (82, 17-56-73), Backstrom (81, 21-43-64), Pietrangelo (78, 11-53-64)
Baltimore: Crosby (82, 40-59-99), Tarasenko (79, 24-45-69), Forsberg (67, 25-40-65), Schwartz (64, 28-36-64), Burns (82, 11-48-59)

Goalies:
Salem: Fleury (44gp, 28-12-3, 2.68, .917, 4so), Andersen (38gp, 28-8-2, 2.09, .925, 4so)
Baltimore: Luongo (36gp, 21-13-1, 2.67, .912, 3so), Grubauer (28gp, 10-13-5, 3.03, .900, 1so)

Players to watch:
Salem: Logan Couture led the league with 12 game-winning goals. His clutch play could be a series-decider.
Baltimore: It’s fair to say that Vladimir Tarasenko’s 24 regular season goals were a disappointment. Can he hit the reset button in time for the playoffs?

It’s seemed like consensus for years now — the Salem Sabercats were due for a regression. But it hasn’t happened yet. The winners of 5 of the last 6 championships skated to the best record in the league this season, scored more goals than any team other than Delta, and allowed the fewest goals against.

But wait! Lest we call this series before it starts, let’s remember that the only other team with a Gump Cup during Salem’s dynasty years is their opponent, Baltimore — a team whose disappointing fourth-place finish likely belies its true ability to compete. The Crab ran into major injury trouble late in the season, but word is its core is mostly healthy now. The only remaining question mark is in net — rumour has it that the team may platoon Roberto Luongo and Philipp Grubauer, but that yielded less-than-stellar results during the regular season.

Head-to-head regular season record:
Tied 3-3-0. In all 6 games, the home team won, but, notably, Baltimore soundly outscored Salem 24-15.

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