2009-10 RECORD: 12-19-3-3, 30 points, (9-5-1-1 home, 3-14-2-2 road), seventh place, East Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Friday, January 8 @ Norfolk (15-19-2-0, 32 points), sixth place, East Division
Saturday, January 9 @ Norfolk (15-19-2-0, 32 points), sixth place, East Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Monday, December 28 @ Houston - HOUSTON 5, Crunch 4 OT
Tuesday, December 29 @ Texas - Crunch 4, TEXAS 3 SO
Wednesday, December 30 @ San Antonio - SAN ANTONIO 3, Crunch 2
Saturday, January 2 vs. Albany - CRUNCH 6, Albany 3
Sunday, January 3 @ Hartford - HARTFORD 2, Crunch 1 OT
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
AWESOME AULIN: Crunch center Jared Aulin can breathe a little easier about where he is going to play for the rest of the season. After starting the year on two professional tryout contracts through his first 31 games, he was finally signed by the Crunch to an American Hockey League deal on January 2.
Aulin was cementing himself as a key contributor to the club's offense prior to that, tallying four points (2g, 2a) in his previous five games, including a two-goal effort in which he also scored the shootout game-winner in a 4-3 win over Texas on December 29. He provided the Crunch's only goal in a 2-1 shootout loss to Hartford on Sunday at the XL Center, helping the club earn an important point on the road.
Over his last 10 games, the Calgary, Alberta native has racked up nine points (4g, 5a). In 33 overall games with the Crunch this season, Aulin ranks third on the club with 18 points (9g, 9a) and is tied for first on the team with two game-winning goals.
In 226 career AHL games with the Crunch, Manchester, Portland, Hershey and Springfield, Aulin has accumulated 47goals, 100 assists and 115 penalty minutes.
NO DOUBTING TOMAS: Since being acquired by Columbus from St. Louis along with Brendan Bell in exchange for Pascal Pelletier on December 8, 2009, center Tomas Kana has done his best to prove that the Blues made a mistake by dealing him away.
Kana has appeared in 12 games for the Crunch this season, tallying nine points (6g, 3a) and 10 penalty minutes, with eight of those points (5g, 3a) coming over his last eight games. Kana was playing with the ECHL's Alaska Aces before coming to Syracuse and appeared in 18 games with St. Louis' AHL affiliate in Peoria last year, scoring just one goal.
A native of Opava, Czech Republic, Kana was selected by St. Louis in the second round, 31st overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
NORFOLK ADMIRALS (TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING): The Crunch travel to Norfolk this weekend to take on the Admirals for back-to-back games on Friday, January 8 and Saturday, January 9. Syracuse is 2-1-0-0 against Norfolk this year and notched their only shutout of the season in a 2-0 win against the Admirals back on October 30 at the Scope. The Crunch are only two points back of Norfolk and will be looking to dig themselves out of last place with two important divisional games. Four players (Dan Fritsche, Derek MacKenzie, Maksim Mayorov and Alexandre Picard) have each tallied three points against Norfolk this year, while Blair Jones (currently on recall to Tampa Bay), leads his club and all players in the season series with four points (1g, 3a).
Starting with a January 16 match-up against Rochester, the Crunch play 24 of their final 39 games at the War Memorial at Oncenter… The Crunch held their opponents to two goals or less for the first time since December 11 on Sunday in Hartford…Kevin Lalande has started four straight games and allowed three goals or less in all of them… The Crunch had four players (Blunden, Kana, Radja, Sigalet) record multiple-point games Saturday vs. Albany…Syracuse matched a season-high with six goals in a game and matched a season-high for goals in period by scoring four times in the third stanza Saturday night vs. Albany…Three former Crunch players (Jarkko Ruutu – Finland, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen – Norway, Raffaele Sannitz – Switzerland) were chosen to represent their respective countries at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver…The Crunch have two players in the top-five in the AHL in shooting percentage (Tom Sestito – 1st – 29.2% and Tomas Kana – t-5th 24.0%)… the Crunch have scored the first goal in five straight games.