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Crunch Report: December 29, 2009

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2009-10 RECORD: 10-18-2-2, 24 points, (8-5-1-1 home, 2-13-1-1 road), seventh place, East Division


THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Monday, December 28 @ Houston (16-14-2-1, 35 points), fifth place, West Division
Tuesday, December 29 @ Texas (20-10-2-2, 44 points), first place, West Division
Wednesday, December 30 @ San Antonio (13-15-3-1, 30 points), seventh place, West Division
Saturday, January 2 vs. Albany (18-13-1-2, 39 points), second place, East Division
Sunday, January 3 @ Hartford (16-13-1-4, 37 points), sixth place, Atlantic Division


LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Saturday, December 26 @ Hershey - HERSHEY 4, Crunch 1

HOME TEAM IN CAPS


THE STRONG, SILENT TYPE:
To do what Crunch center Trevor Frischmon has done, you need to have a strong will and possess a great amount of resiliency on and off the ice.

Frischmon showed his inner strength after bouncing back and forth between the ECHL and AHL in his first two professional seasons after playing four years at Colorado College (WCHA). He remained focused and when called upon to fill in early for the Crunch during the 2007-08 season, made his mark and didn’t let the coaches take him out of the lineup.

That mental durability has carried over on to the ice as well. Frischmon has made himself a staple in the Syracuse lineup and appeared in 145 consecutive regular season games for the Crunch dating back to January 25, 2008. Counting the 2007-08 playoffs, he has skated in 158 straight games in a Crunch uniform.

Not known as a very vocal player, Frischmon leads by example every day with his effort and practice habits. He was named an alternate captain prior to the Crunch's first game of the season at Wilkes-Barre on October 3. Overall, he has appeared in 204 games with the Crunch since the 2006-07 season, collecting 14 goals, 43 assists and 109 penalty minutes. He needs to play in just 14 more contests to reach the club’s all-time top ten list in games played. The Columbus Blue Jackets took notice of his attributes and signed the Ham Lake, Minnesota native to a two-way, NHL-American Hockey League contract on July 3, 2009.

RINGING IN THE NEW YEAR ON THE ROAD: On Saturday in Hershey, the Crunch started a stretch of playing eight of nine games away from the War Memorial at Oncenter. The club has a busy week coming up, playing five total games including three in three nights against Houston, Texas and San Antonio, respectively.

The only Crunch home game during this stretch takes place when Syracuse hosts Albany at the War Memorial at Oncenter this Saturday, January 2 at 7:30 p.m.

After playing Albany at home on Saturday, the Crunch embark on their longest road trip of the season, a five-game voyage that begins in Hartford on January 3 and extends until January 15 in Springfield. In all, the Crunch start a tiring stretch of five games in the next six days.


UPCOMING GAMES:

HOUSTON AEROS (MINNESOTA WILD):
The Crunch head to Houston Monday for the second of two meetings and only contest at the Toyota Center against the Aeros this season. Syracuse took the only other game between these two clubs, a 4-3 shootout win back on November 27 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. David Liffiton led the attack for the Crunch with two points (1g, 1a), while Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman and Tom Sestito added the other two markers in that game for Syracuse. Houston's Duncan Milroy notched two helpers in the loss for the Aeros. The Crunch are 5-3-1 in nine all-time meetings with Houston.

TEXAS STARS (DALLAS STARS): The Crunch make the roughly 2-hour, 45-minute drive from Houston to Austin, Texas to face the Texas Stars in the brand new Cedar Park Center for the first time in their history on Tuesday, December 29. The West Division-leading Stars are led in scoring by centers Aaron Gagnon and Perttu Lindgren, who each have 21 points (6g, 15a) and the excellent goaltending tandem of Brent Krahn and Matt Climie. Texas goaltenders have combined to register a 2.02 goals against average and .935 save percentage so far this season.

SAN ANTONIO RAMPAGE (PHOENIX COYOTES): The Crunch finish up the western part of their four-game road trip with their third game in three nights by traveling to San Antonio on Wednesday to battle the Rampage in the first of two meetings between these teams this year. These two clubs play each other again on January 29, 2010 when San Antonio visits the War Memorial at Oncenter. San Antonio is led in scoring by centers Kevin Porter (10g, 14a) and Kyle Turris (8g, 16a), who have each amassed 24 points. The Crunch are 3-5-2 in 10 all-time meetings with the Rampage.

ALBANY RIVER RATS (CAROLINA HURRICANES): The Crunch make their way back to Syracuse to take on Albany on Saturday at the War Memorial at Oncenter. The Crunch are 1-3-0-0 against the River Rats this year and recently had their 15-game home winning streak against Albany snapped when the Rats defeated the Crunch by a 5-2 score on December 19. Trevor Frischmon has tallied four points (1g, 3a) of his nine points on the season against Albany and leads all Crunch players in scoring in the season series. The Rats’ Jerome Samson leads his team and all players in scoring in the series with five points (3g, 2a), while goaltender Mike Murphy is 3-0-0 with a 2.01 goals against average and .941 save percentage against the Crunch this year.

HARTFORD WOLF PACK (NEW YORK RANGERS): The Crunch head back out on the road to start a season-high five-game trip on Sunday, January 3 at Hartford. This will be the second of two meetings between these two clubs this season. Syracuse won the first match-up, 2-1, back on November 21 with goals from Kevin Harvey and Maksim Mayorov. Kevin Lalande was stellar in that game, stopping all 22 shots before Ilkka Heikkinen spoiled his shutout bid with just two seconds left in regulation. This will be the first meeting between these two clubs at the XL Center since December 22, 2007, a game that saw a combined 116 penalty minutes.


CRUNCHABLES:

Simon Ferguson skated in his 300th AHL game Saturday night vs. Hershey… The Crunch have lost a season-high five straight games… The Crunch are now 2-7-0-0 in the month of December and 3-15-1-1 over the last two seasons in December… Syracuse has led going into the third period on the road just once this season… Jon Mirasty (150) and Kevin Harvey (128) rank second and fourth in penalty minutes, respectively, in the AHL… The Crunch lead the AHL by averaging 27.31 penalty minutes per game.

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