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Crunch Report: March 9, 2010

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2009-10 RECORD: 29-29-3-3, 64 points, (15-12-1-1 home, 14-17-2-2 road), fifth place, East Division


THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Friday, March 12     vs. Lowell (33-24-4-4, 74 points), fourth place, Atlantic Division
Saturday, March 13 vs. Rochester (37-26-2-0, 76 points), second place, North Division
Sunday, March 14   @ Albany (34-24-3-4, 75 points), second place, East Division


LAST WEEK'S RESULTS

Friday, March 5 vs. WBS - CRUNCH 5, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 2
Saturday, March 6 vs. Portland - CRUNCH 4, Portland 3
Sunday, March 7 @ Binghamton - Crunch 4, Binghamton 3 OT

HOME TEAM IN CAPS


NEW PAIR PRODUCING:
Sometimes a change of scenery can be a good thing for a player. In the case of Crunch newcomers Chad Kolarik and Greg Moore, it has been a very good thing so far. Kolarik and Moore came to the Crunch after being acquired by Columbus in separate trades and assigned to the club last week. Since then, they have been put on the same line and have found some chemistry together.

Kolarik tied for the team lead in scoring with five points (2g, 3a) last week, helping his new team to a 3-0-0 record. He made his Crunch debut on Friday, March 5 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and made an immediate impression with a goal in a 5-2 win over the Penguins.

Kolarik tallied his first assist as a member of the Crunch the very next night in a 4-3 victory over Portland and factored in on three of the Crunch’s four goals with three points (1g, 2a) in a 4-3 overtime win at Binghamton on Sunday, giving the Crunch a weekend sweep, earning all six of a possible six points.

Moore also made his Crunch debut on Friday, March 5 and picked up his first point as a member of the Crunch, an assist, on Saturday night vs. Portland. The Lisbon, Maine native had a big game for Syracuse on Sunday at Binghamton, scoring twice in the 4-3 overtime victory.

MARCH MADNESS: March always seems to be the time of the year that the Syracuse Crunch play their best hockey. The Crunch have already jumped out to a 3-0-0-0 mark in March with three wins this past weekend.

Since the 2007-08 season, the Crunch are a combined 23-5-1-1 in the month of March, including an 11-0-0-1 record in 2007-08 and a 9-5-1-0 mark last season. Syracuse has been even better at home over the past three seasons in March, going a combined 18-1-1-1 at the War Memorial at Oncenter.


UPCOMING GAMES:

LOWELL DEVILS (NEW JERSEY DEVILS):
The Lowell Devils make their first and only trip to Syracuse on Friday night for the second and final meeting of the season between these two clubs. The Crunch won the only other game this year back on January 13, a 3-2 decision, on the strength of goals from Kevin Harvey, Maksim Mayorov and Jonathan Sigalet. Dan LaCosta picked up the win, stopping 32 of 34 shots. Eric Castonguay and Brad Mills scored Lowell’s only two goals in the game. Fifth-year pro Ben Walter leads Lowell in scoring with 45 points (19g, 26a).

ROCHESTER AMERICANS (FLORIDA PANTHERS): Crunch arch-rivals the Rochester Americans come to town on Saturday for the ninth of 10 overall meetings between these two clubs this season. The Crunch are 0-6-2-0 this year against Rochester after compiling a combined 18-6-0-0 record against the Americans in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Jared Aulin (five assists) leads the Crunch in scoring against Rochester, while Jamie Johnson (5g, 5a) and Chris Taylor (3g, 7a) have each tallied ten points in the season series for their club. Rochester goaltender Alexander Salak is 8-0-0 with a 2.21 goals against average and .925 save percentage against the Crunch this year.

ALBANY RIVER RATS (CAROLINA HURRICANES): The Crunch travel to Albany for their third game in three days when they battle the River Rats at the Times Union Center in a 3 p.m. matinee match-up on Sunday. The Crunch and Rats have split the season series so far this year, with each team winning three games. Trevor Frischmon (1g, 5a), Tomas Kana (3g, 2a) and Dan Fritsche (1g, 4a) lead the Crunch in scoring against Albany, while Jermone Samson paces his club and all players with eight points (6g, 2a) in the season series.


CRUNCHABLES:

The Crunch were the only AHL team without an overtime win prior to their game Sunday at Binghamton… Sunday’s OT win over Binghamton was the Crunch’s first overtime win of the 2009-10 season and first since October 24, 2008 vs. Binghamton at the War Memorial at Oncenter… It was the club’s first road overtime regular season win in nearly two years, when Nate DiCasmirro’s goal beat Toronto at Ricoh Coliseum on March 9, 2008… That was the first win of Syracuse’s 15-game streak to end the 2007-08 regular season… The newly-formed line of LaVallee-Smotherman, Kolarik and Moore combined for eight points (3g, 5a) Sunday at Binghamton… The Crunch were not awarded a power play in Sunday’s game at Binghamton, which was the first time that has happened all season… In eight regular season meetings this year, the Crunch gave up 40 shots or more to Binghamton five times… Defenseman Brendan Bell has five points (4g, 1a) over his last four games…Kevin Lalande has started 15 of the last 18 games for the Crunch… Syracuse is 12-4-0-1 in its last 17 road games.

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