For the first time EVER, the Binghamton Senators are headed to the American Hockey League’s championship round. After almost breezing through the first three games of their semi-final series with the Charlotte Checkers, the home team had to fight through everything the Checkers could throw at them in Game #4 last night. Charlotte, refusing to fade quietly into the damp night air, tied the game and put the champagne back on ice with only 1:24 left in regulation.
Game #7 in Round 1 was the last time the B-Sens had played an overtime game, and they were forced to extra time in this one. There were some tense moments in the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena during OT, particularly when Cody Bass was sent off for a delay of game penalty and Robin Lehner was required to make a string of saves on the ensuing kill. As they’ve done so many times in the extra frame these playoffs, Bingo followed up a noteworthy defensive effort with the decisive game-winning effort. Exactly one day prior to the four-year anniversary of Daniel Alfredsson scoring the overtime, Eastern Conference championship, clinching goal against the Buffalo Sabres in the 2007 NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, the Senators other (farm team) captain, Ryan Keller, lasered as a split-second shot past the Checkers goaltender off a face-off, 13 minutes into OT to clinch the Eastern title for the B-Sens. There is something about Senator captains scoring series clinching goals. The goal sent the 4,174 fans and players on the Bingo bench into a tizzy. The victory book-ended the “sweep” and the final score was 4-3.
Here is the goal that clinched a Calder Cup Final berth for the B-Sens, courtesy of Binghamton Senators.
With the task of making it to the finals out of the way, the B-Sens now have to sit and wait, for NINE days. Potential Western Conference opponents the Houston Aeros and Hamilton Bulldogs are still duking it out for their shot at facing Bingo. Smart money is on the Aeros who lead their series 3-1 despite an ugly 8-1 defeat last night. Head coach Kurt Kleniendorst will have to be vigilant in trying to keep his team sharp during the layoff. The last thing anyone in the Senators’ organization wants is a repeat of the ’07 NHL Cup finals where the long layoff may have been handled improperly, contributing to a losing effort against the eventual Stanley Cup winning Anaheim Ducks.
In the meantime, readers of SenShot and fans of the Senators can check out Fansided and Cardiac Cane’s own Kristina Kelly on her twitter account @CardiacCaneFS for her new and improved display photo and bio information. We knew she’d come around eventually. The full terms and conditions of the Bingo Bet.
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