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Griffins Features


June 7, 2011

by Michael Zuidema -

Former Grand Rapids Griffins forward Ryan Keller handed the Binghamton Senators their first Calder Cup championship on Tuesday night.

Keller, who appeared in 48 Griffins games from 2005-07, scored the game-winning goal on the power play with 10:51 remaining to give the Senators a 3-2 win against the Houston Aeros in Game 6 at the Toyota Center.

After missing the playoffs in five consecutive seasons from 2006-10, Binghamton won three consecutive games to capture its first title for a city whose professional hockey history dates back to 1973.

Trailing 2-1, Bobby Butler tied it for the Senators 3:26 into the third period. Both Keller’s and Butler’s goals came on the power play.

Binghamton jumped on top behind a Roman Wick goal 2:28 into the second, before Houston’s Jon DiSalvatore and Jean-Michel Daoust scored less than 5 minutes apart to give the Aeros a 2-1 lead heading into the third.

Binghamton goaltender Robin Lehner, who was awarded the Jack Butterfield Trophy as playoff MVP, made 33 saves. Houston’s Matt Hackett stopped 25 shots.

Keller ended the American Hockey League postseason with 10 goals and 15 assists.