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Crunch Report: March 30, 2010

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2009-10 RECORD: 31-37-3-3, 68 points, (17-17-1-1 home, 14-20-2-2 road), seventh place, East Division

THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Wednesday, March 31 vs. Hershey (56-14-0-3, 115 points), first place, East Division
Friday, April 1 @ Adirondack (31-36-3-4, 69 points), sixth place East Division
Saturday, April 2 vs. Hershey (56-14-0-3, 115 points), first place, East Division


LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Tuesday, March 23 - WORCESTER 3, Crunch 1
Wednesday, March 24 - BRIDGEPORT 5, Crunch 2
Friday, March 26 - CRUNCH 4, Toronto 0
Saturday, March 27 - Albany 5, CRUNCH 2

HOME TEAM IN CAPS


MOORE COWBELL:
Crunch center Greg Moore appeared in all four games for the Crunch this past week and led the club in scoring with four points (3g, 1a). He has been a steady offensive contributor to the club since being acquired by Columbus from the New York Islanders in exchange for Dylan Reese on March 1, 2010, posting nine points (5g, 4a) in 13 games for Syracuse.

Moore started the week by scoring the Crunch's only goal in a 3-1 loss at Worcester on Tuesday. He was held scoreless in the club’s 5-2 loss at Bridgeport on Wednesday before exploding for three points (2g, 1a) in the Crunch's 4-0 shutout win over Toronto on Friday night. In addition to his personal season-high three-point effort, he registered a plus-2 rating, a team-high six shots on goal and was named the game’s second star for his effort.

Overall, Moore has appeared in 299 combined AHL games with Hartford, Bridgeport and the Crunch since the 2005-06 season, totaling 77 goals, 95 assists and 138 penalty minutes. In addition, Moore has skated in six NHL games, all with the New York Rangers during the 2007-08 campaign.

CRUNCH CALLED UPON BY COLUMBUS: With recent injuries, the Columbus Blue Jackets have had to dip into the Crunch's roster to fill some needs over the past few weeks. Those players, a few of whom have made their NHL debuts, have done an admirable job since being called upon.

Defenseman Grant Clitsome was recalled by Columbus on March 1 and made his NHL debut the following night against Vancouver, tallying two assists. After being sent back to Syracuse on March 3, Clitsome was called up again on March 22. Since then, the Gloucester, Ontario native has appeared in four more games and recorded his first NHL goal on March 27 vs. the NY Islanders.

Trevor Frischmon, who ranks sixth on the Crunch's all-time games played list (243), was called up to the NHL for the first time in his career on March 28 and made his NHL debut later that night at the United Center in Chicago, playing just over seven minutes in the Blue Jackets' 4-2 win over the Blackhawks.

Tomas Kana, who has recorded 28 points (15g, 13a) in 49 games with the Crunch this season, was recalled by Columbus on March 29 and is scheduled to make his NHL debut tonight when the Blue Jackets host Tampa Bay at Nationwide Arena at 7 p.m.

CRUNCH OFICIALLY ELIMINATED FROM CALDER CUP PLAYOFF CONTENTION: With Bridgeport's 4-2 win over Lowell on Sunday, March 29, the Syracuse Crunch were officially eliminated from 2010 Calder Cup playoff contention. With six regular season games remaining, the Crunch can reach a maximum of 80 points. Bridgeport, which currently sits in the East Division’s fourth and final playoff spot, has 82 points.


UPCOMING GAMES:

HERSHEY BEARS (WASHINGTON CAPITALS):
The Hershey Bears come to town to face the Crunch for the second time in an 11-day span on Wednesday, March 31. The Crunch then travel to Central Pennsylvania on Saturday, April 3 before battling the Bears one last time in 2009-10 on Tuesday, April 6 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Hershey will be hungry as they have a chance to tie the 1992-93 Binghamton Rangers' all-time AHL single-season wins mark (57) on Wednesday. Hershey also needs just nine points over their final seven games to match the same 1992-93 Binghamton club’s all-time single-season points mark (124). The Bears have taken all three meetings from the Crunch so far this season by a combined 14-6 margin and are led in scoring in the season series by Chris Bourque (2g, 4a). Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman leads the Crunch with two goals against Hershey this year.

ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS: The Crunch travel to Glens Falls, NY to take on Adirondack on Friday night in the sixth and final meeting of the season between these two clubs. The Crunch are 4-1-0-0 against the Phantoms this season and are led in scoring in the season series by the recently departed Alexandre Picard (3g, 5a). The injured Jared Aulin (3g, 2a) and Derek MacKenzie (2g, 3a) have each contributed five points, while Dan Fritsche, Tomas Kana and Maksim Mayorov have all tallied three points (2g, 1a) against Adirondack this year. Kevin Lalande is 3-0-0 with a 2.10 goals against average and .919 save percentage in four games played vs. the Phantoms this season.


CRUNCHABLES:

The Crunch currently have the eighth-best road power play in the AHL (18.4%)… Syracuse is tied for the AHL lead in shorthanded goals with Hershey (16)… The Crunch have been outscored 80-54 in the first period this season… Syracuse is one of four (4) AHL teams that have not lost in regulation when leading after the second period (19-0-1-1)… Kevin Lalande moved into soul possession of sixth place on the Crunch's all-time list in games played by a goaltender with his start on Saturday vs. Albany... Saturday was the final match-up between the Crunch and Albany as the River Rats, as that franchise is slated to move to Charlotte, North Carolina next year to become the Checkers.

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