Article By: Mike Peck
05/19/2011 8:24 AM - Binghamton, N.Y.-The Binghamton Senators have won the Richard F. Canning Trophy as the AHL’s Eastern Conference champions for 2010-11, claiming the title with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Charlotte Checkers in Game 4 of their best-of-seven series at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in Binghamton, N.Y., on Wednesday night.
Team captain Ryan Keller scored the series-clinching goal at 13:05 of overtime, and Robin Lehner made 42 saves in the victory.
The top affiliate of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators, Binghamton finished fifth in the East Division with a record of 42-30-3-5 (92 points) and crossed over to the Atlantic Division playoff draw. The Senators, under head coach Kurt Kleinendorst in his first season with the club, defeated the Manchester Monarchs (4-3) in the division semifinals, the Portland Pirates (4-2) in the division finals and the Checkers (4-0) in the conference finals to become the city’s first team to reach the Calder Cup Finals since the Binghamton Whalers in 1982.
The Senators’ playoff run has been led by Ryan Potulny, the AHL’s leading postseason scorer with 14 goals and 25 points in 17 games. Potulny is one of 13 active Binghamton players who also saw NHL time with Ottawa in 2010-11.
Binghamton will face either the Houston Aeros or the Hamilton Bulldogs in the 2011 Calder Cup Finals. The Aeros currently lead the Western Conference Finals, three games to one.
Established in 1990, the AHL’s Eastern Conference championship trophy honors Richard F. Canning, who served the AHL for more than 50 years during his career, including a term as league president from 1958-61. Mr. Canning is recognized as the author of the AHL’s constitution, by-laws and regulations.