GWMHL

Gump Cup Final: Salem Leads 3-2

In DEL, SAL on May 3, 2019 at 10:03 am

The Salem Sabercats now lead the Delta Sturgeon three games to two in their best-of-seven championship series.

Riding high back on home ice, the Sturgeon won both games 3 and 4 7-3. In game 3, after Salem had pulled to within a goal early in the third, Delta pulled away and made it a rout. Nikita Kucherov finished with a pair of goals, including the game-winner, and three assists. Game 4 saw the Sturgeon once again mount a stellar third, breaking a 3-3 tie in style largely on the backs of Eric Staal and Aaron Ekblad.

With the series now tied 2-2, the Sturgeon and Sabercats skated to a tight scoreless tie after one period in game 5. But early in the second, Logan Couture sprung Anze Kopitar on a breakaway to make it 1-0. Kopitar would later tally again on an odd-man rush, faking a pass on a two-on-one and rifling the 2-0 goal past John Gibson.

But it wasn’t over. Late in the third, with Delta pressing hard, Nathan MacKinnon fed the puck back to Ekblad at the point, and the defender blasted one past Freddy Andersen. Then, a mere 21 seconds later, MacKinnon bumped Salem’s Brandon Montour off the puck in the corner and fed Kucherov in front for the tying goal.

In extra time, Salem killed a minor penalty and, feeding off the momentum, started pushing for the winner. The pressure yielded yet another odd-man rush, as Travis Konecny and Patrick Marleau skated in on a lone defenseman. Konecny faked pass and shot, beating Gibson and giving his team a huge 3-2 OT win to take the lead in the series. Salem now has the chance to close out the series at home in game 6.

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