Today’s Poll

Kinrade lives the dream as Binghamton captures 2011 Calder Cup Championship Tuesday in Houston

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
June 8th, 2011

By Bruce Fuhr
The Nelson Daily Sports

At the start of the Calder Cup playoffs Nelson’s Geoff Kinrade had a gut instinct about his American Hockey League squad — Binghamton Senators.

“It’s a different feeling,” Kinrade told The Nelson Daily prior to start of the post season.

“It’s been a while since I’ve been on a team that has this kind of potential,” added the 25-year-old defenceman in his second year with Binghamton.

“My first year in Cowichan (Valley of the B.C. Hockey League) would have to be the last time I was on a team that has a really good chance to go all the way.”

Cowichan Valley didn’t win the BCHL title.

However, Tuesday night in Houston Kinrade’s second best team turned out to be the best as the B-Sens won the AHL crown.

Ryan Keller scored a power play goal midway through the third period, and goalie Robin Lehner shut the door the rest of the way, sparking Binghamton to a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Houston Aeros in the Calder Cup Final.

The Sens, rallying from a 2-1 deficit after two periods, won three straight games en route to clinching the title in six games.

Lehner, taking home the Jack A. Butterfield Trophy as the most valuable player of the 2011 Calder Cup Playoffs, stopped all 15 shots in the third period for Binghamton as Houston threw everything but the kitchen sink at the B-Sens goal — finishing the game with a 36-27 shot advantage.

The win capped off a rags to riches story for the Ottawa Senators farm team.

Binghamton had missed the playoffs for five consecutive seasons prior to entering the 2010-11 campaign. But the B-Sens finished the season off in style, earning Binghamton’s first championship in 29 years of hosting an American Hockey League franchise.

The Senators also established an AHL record with 10 road victories this postseason (10-2) and finished 15-4 in their final 19 playoff games overall after falling into a 3-1 deficit against the Manchester Monarchs in the first round.

Binghamton overcame that deficit against Manchester by winning all games in series in overtime.

The B-Sens then outlasted the Portland Pirates (4-2) before sweeping the Charlotte Checkers (4-0) en route to the Finals match-up with Houston.

Kinrade, who signed a free agent contact with Binghamton in 2009, finished the playoffs playing all 23 games. The Nelson Minor Hockey product had a goal and four assists and was a plus two.

His only goal of the playoffs came in overtime against Manchester in game six.


Categories: Sports

Other News Stories