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Crunch Report: January 19, 2010

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2009-10 RECORD: 16-21-3-3, 38 points, (9-6-1-1 home, 7-15-2-2 road), sixth place, East Division


THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Friday, January 22 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (20-20-1-1, 42 points), fourth place, East Division
Saturday, January 23 vs. Worcester (26-14-1-2, 55 points), second place, East Division
Sunday, January 24 @ Toronto (15-20-5-2, 37 points), seventh place, North Division


LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Wednesday, January 13 @ Lowell - Crunch 3, LOWELL 2
Friday, January 15 @ Springfield - Crunch 6, SPRINGFIELD 3
Saturday, January 16 vs. Rochester - Rochester 4, CRUNCH 3
Sunday, January 17 @ Hershey - HERSHEY 4, Crunch 3

HOME TEAM IN CAPS

REESE AND SHINE: After just four assists in his first 22 games, Crunch defenseman Dylan Reese has woken up offensively recently.

Reese appeared in all four games for the Crunch this past week, totaling five points (2g, 3a), including an assist in a 3-2 victory at Lowell on Wednesday night. He broke out on Friday night in Springfield, recording his first-ever two goal game as a professional, along with a team-high plus-3 rating en route to being named the game's first star as the Crunch blew away Springfield 6-3.

On Saturday night, Reese added another two assists and was a plus-2 as Rochester edged the Crunch at home, 4-3. He was held scoreless on Sunday in Hershey, breaking a season-high four-game point streak (2g, 4a).

The Harvard University product has now accumulated 10 points (3g, 7a), over his last 15 games. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, Reese was signed by the Crunch to an American Hockey League contract on September 29, 2009. He was originally selected by the New York Rangers in the seventh round, 209th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

FRITSCHE TO REPRESENT CRUNCH AT TIME WARNER CABLE AHL ALL-STAR CLASSIC: Crunch center Dan Fritsche will suit up for the PlanetUSA AHL All-Star Team for the 2010 Time Warner Cable AHL All-Star Classic, to be played January 18 and 19 at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, Maine.

Fritsche, 24, has appeared in 40 games for the Crunch this season and ranks second on the club in scoring with 23 points (9g, 14a). He scored a season-high three points (1g, 2a), in a 4-3 shootout win over Albany on November 11 and has recorded five (5) multiple-point games this year.

Fritsche is currently in his second stint with the Crunch, having played in 23 games in parts of two seasons with Syracuse in 2003-04 and 2005-06 as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. He made a splash in his first game back at the War Memorial at Oncenter this season, recording two points (1g, 1a) in the Crunch's home-opening 6-1 win over Adirondack on October 10.

In addition, Fritsche has skated in a combined 256 NHL games with Columbus, the NY Rangers and Minnesota, compiling 34 goals, 42 assists and 103 penalty minutes. A native of Parma, Ohio, Fritsche was selected by Columbus in the second round, 46th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

CRUNCH HELP RAISE PROCEEDS FOR TWO WORTHY CAUSES: On Saturday, January 16, the Crunch helped two worthy causes raise proceeds. Fans had the opportunity to spin the Crunch Foundation prize wheel for $1 to win a number of different items. All of the proceeds from the prize wheel went to benefit victims of the recent devastating earthquake in Haiti. In all, the Crunch raised nearly $500 that will be donated to the American Red Cross.

In addition, the Syracuse University Women's Ice Hockey team was in attendance helping raise proceeds for 'Skate for the Cure'. The team sold raffle tickets for two team-autographed sticks and auctioned off a jersey. In all, they raised over $1,800 that will be donated to the American Cancer Society's Breast Cancer Foundation.


UPCOMING GAMES:

WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS (PITTSBURGH PENGUINS):
The Crunch welcome the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins to town on Friday, January 22 for the sixth of eight meetings between these two teams this year. The Crunch are 1-3-0-1 against the Penguins this season, with their only win coming back on November 28, which was also the club's first road win of the season. Dan Fritsche leads all current Crunch players in the season series (1g, 2a), while Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's Dustin Jeffrey leads all players with 11 points (5g, 6a). Jeffrey's teammates Mark Letestu (9 assists) and Nick Johnson (4g, 2a) have also been effective against the Crunch this year, while Penguins goaltenders have combined to go 4-1-0 with a 2.17 goals against average vs. Syracuse.

WORCESTER SHARKS (SAN JOSE SHARKS): The Worcester Sharks visit Syracuse for the first-ever meeting between these two teams since Worcester entered the league in 2006-07. Sharks rookie Logan Couture leads his team, all league rookies and is tied for sixth in overall scoring in the AHL with 42 points (16g, 26a). Couture also leads the AHL with eight game-winning goals. Teammate and second year pro Steven Zalewski is right behind him, boasting 40 points (16g, 24a) in 42 games. Zalewski was a teammate at Clarkson University with current Crunch defenseman, Grant Clitsome and is a native of nearby Utica, NY.

TORONTO MARLIES (TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS): The Crunch make their way north of the border to take on the Toronto Marlies at the Ricoh Coliseum Sunday for the first of two meetings this year. This will be the first time these two clubs have ever faced each other as non-divisional opponents, after the Crunch joined the Eastern Conference's East Division prior to the start of this season. In 32 all-time meetings, the Crunch are 17-14-1 against the Marlies. Toronto is led in scoring by right wing Andre Deveaux, who has 25 points (10g, 15a) in 40 games. The Marlies also boast two players in the top-20 in AHL rookie scoring with Viktor Stralberg (8g, 14a in 22 games) and AHL All-Star Christian Hanson (9g, 12a in 23 games). Former Crunch goaltender Adam Munro has appeared in 14 games for Toronto this season, going 3-8-1 with a 3.14 goals against average and .905 save percentage.

CRUNCHABLES:
Starting with this Friday's, January 22 game vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, the Crunch play 23 of their final 37 games at the War Memorial at Oncenter… The Crunch have currently played the second fewest home games of any team in the AHL (17)… Derek MacKenzie (2g, 1a) is currently riding a three-game point streak… Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman has three points (2g, 1a) over his last four games… Brendan Bell has four assists over his last four games and has 27 points (7g, 20a) on the season, tying him for eighth in the AHL in scoring among defensemen... Jared Aulin tallied another three assists this week, giving him 16 points (6g, 10a) over his last 16 games… The Crunch are undefeated in regulation when leading after two periods (9-0-1-1)…Maksim Mayorov has three goals over his last four games… The Crunch had their season-high four game win streak and six game points streak snapped on Saturday vs. Rochester.

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