Jed Ortmeyer netted two of Houston’s three goals in the third period as the Aeros rallied to beat the Binghamton Senators 3-1 on Friday night in Game 1 of the AHL’s Calder Cup Finals.
Houston halted the Senators’ eight-game road winning streak and handed Binghamton its first defeat on from home enemy ice since Game 1 of the division semifinals at Manchester.
The game was scoreless until Senators rookie Bobby Butler broke through at 16:17 for his rookie-leading 11th goal of the postseason, with fellow rookie Colin Greening picking up the lone assist.
But the Aeros, the top farm team of the Minnesota Wild, tied it 36 seconds into the third period when Warren Peters scored an unassisted goal.
That set the stage for Ortmeyer’s heroics, as the veteran of 310 NHL games put the Aeros ahead at 1:47 and added an insurance goal at 6:09. Former first-round draft pick Colton Gillies and defenseman Marco Scandella assisted on both goals, which were Ortmeyer’s fifth and sixth of the playoffs.
Rookie goaltender Matt Hackett was flawless the rest of the way, finishing with 23 saves on 24 shots to improve to 13-6 in 19 postseason contests. At the other end, 19-year-old Robin Lehner made 38 saves for Binghamton in the losing effort.
Both sides finished 0-for-2 on the power play in a game which featured just 14 minutes in penalties.
The teams will get right back on the Toyota Center ice for Game 2 on Saturday night before the series shifts to Binghamton next week.