Had a great start to the month of June over the weekend hanging out in Binghamton for two days for games four and five of the Calder Cup finals where we witnessed Binghamton take a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 is tonight in Houston where the Binghamton Senators are hoping to win their first Calder Cup. As an Amerks and Sabres fan a part of me dislikes the Senators but it’d be great for the city of Binghamton to get the Calder Cup.
The Senators controlled the game from start to finish on Friday night and won the game 3-0. On Saturday night they had their backs to the boards for most of the game but in the end won the game 4-2. Playing in front of a packed arena of over 4,700 fans certainly helped give the players some additional momentum.
The added story line to this series is that Senators assistant coach Steve Stirling underwent successful quadruple bypass surgery on Sunday after experiencing chest pains. The B-Sens team was obviously wanting to win the cup for themselves, the coaches, the fans, the city and now for Stirling. I don’t know the guy but it reminds me of the scene from Major League II where Coach Lou ends up in the hospital and is listening on headphones jumping up and down on a hospital bed.
Two players I noticed were Robin Lehner and Jim O’Brien for the Senators. Robin Lehner is an exciting goalie to watch and should have a solid career ahead of him. It’ll be interesting to see if Ottawa gives him another season in Binghamton or pushes him up fast and has him backing up Craig Anderson full time. As for Jim O’Brien, the guy was everywhere on the ice and in a great way. In 22 playoff games he only has 3 goals and 4 assists but if he’s played these entire playoffs the way he did on Friday and Saturday his contributions are more than on the scoreboard.
The puck drops at 8:05pm Eastern Time. I’ll be listening to the game on 1430 The Team through iHeartRadio. Houston played a strong game on Saturday night and will be a tough opponent in their home building, it should be a great game of hockey.
The Houston Aeros and Binghamton Senators square off in Game 6 of the Calder Cup Finals at Toyota Center. The teams alternated wins after Houston won Game 1. Binghamton took a 3-2 series lead with a 4-2 victory in Game 5.
BNG leads 3-2
HOW THEY GOT HERE
— Swept the Peoria Rivermen 4-0 in the first round.
— Defeated Milwaukee 4-3 in the second round.
— Defeated Hamilton 4-3 in the Western Conference Finals
— Defeated Manchester 4-3 in the first round.
— Defeated Portland 4-2 in the second round.
— Swept Charlotte 4-0 in the Eastern Conference Finals.
DID YOU KNOW?
— The Aeros are the first AHL club ever to win a playoff series after relinquishing a 3-0 series lead (Conference Finals vs. HAM)
— With wins over Milwaukee and Hamilton in the last two rounds, Houston improved to 6-0 all-time in AHL Game 7’s.
— Houston and Binghamton both reached the 2011 Calder Cup Finals after missing the postseason entirely in 2010.
— Binghamton is the eighth consecutive East Division team to represent the Eastern Conference in the Calder Cup Finals.
— Houston’s hockey history actually pre-dates that of Binghamton. The Houston Skippers began play at the Sam Houston Coliseum in 1946, changed their name to the Huskies, and were coached by Toe Blake during the 1947-48 season. The team won the USHL crown that season. Binghamton’s first pro team was known as the Broome Dusters in the NAHL in 1973.