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Crunch Report: November 10, 2009

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2009-10 RECORD: 4-6-2-1, 11 points, (3-1-1-0 home, 1-5-1-1 road), seventh place, East Division


Wednesday, November 11 vs. Albany (7-6-0-1, 15 points), second place, East Division
Friday, November 13 vs. Providence (5-8-1-0, 11 points), seventh place, Atlantic Division
Saturday, November 14 @ Hamilton (8-1-1-3, 20 points), second place, North Division


Friday, November 6 @ Rochester ROCHESTER 4, Crunch 3 OT
Saturday, November 7 vs. Norfolk Norfolk 6, CRUNCH 1


Crunch center Dan Fritsche has always done the little things to help his team win hockey games. That was never more evident than in the waning minutes of the Crunch's October 23 game vs. Binghamton at the War Memorial at Oncenter. The Parma, Ohio native was on the ice killing a penalty when a shot from a Binghamton player deflected off a stick and right into his face, breaking his nose. Fritsche missed the next two games because of the injury, but has returned strong with three points (1g, 2a) in four games since.

In two games this past weekend, Fritsche led the team in scoring with two points (1g, 1a) and a combined plus-3 rating. He made a great play with a hard forecheck in the offensive zone and picked up an assist on Nick Holden's game-tying shorthanded goal with just 14 seconds left in regulation Friday night at Rochester, capping a three-goal, third period comeback to help the Crunch earn a hard-fought point in a 4-3 overtime loss.

Fritsche scored his second goal of the season, the only Crunch marker in a 6-1 loss to Norfolk Saturday night at the War Memorial at Oncenter and was the only Crunch player to register a positive plus/minus rating (+1). He is currently tied for fourth on the club in scoring with seven points (2g, 5a), in 10 games.

Fritsche was originally selected by Columbus in the second round, 46th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He has appeared in 256 combined NHL games with Columbus, the NY Rangers and Minnesota, compiling 34 goals, 42 assists and 103 penalty minutes. Fritsche was signed by the Crunch to an AHL contract on October 6, 2009.

Crunch right wing Pascal Pelletier and defenseman Jonathan Sigalet might have flashbacks when the Providence Bruins visit the War Memorial at Oncenter this Friday, November 13, as both players spent three seasons with the P-Bruins from 2005-08.

Pelletier appeared in 206 games in his three years with Providence and is ranked among the franchise's all-time leaders in a number of categories, including goals (71 – t-4th), assists (99 – t-6th), points (170 – 5th), game-winning goals (9 – t-5th) and power play goals (24 – 7th). The native of Labrador City, Newfoundland led Providence in scoring during the 2007-08 campaign when he racked up a career-high 75 points (37g, 38a) in 73 games. Pelletier was signed by Boston as a free agent on August 7, 2006.

Sigalet skated in 199 games with the Bruins over his three years in Providence, notching 21 goals, 60 assists and 154 penalty minutes. In 2005-06 he set a career-high and led all club defensemen in scoring with 36 points (9g, 27a). That same season, he tied for third on the team in plus/minus with a plus-12 and contributed three points (2g, 1a) in six playoff games. A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Sigalet was selected by Boston in the fourth round, 100th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.


The Crunch welcome in the Albany River Rats Wednesday for the first time this season and the first of eight meetings between these two clubs this year. In eight meetings last season, the Crunch went 5-3-0-0 against the Rats. Syracuse has dominated Albany at the War Memorial at Oncenter in recent years, winning 14 straight games at home against their East Division rival dating back to the 2006-07 season.\ The Crunch have not lost to Albany at home since March 2, 2007. Current Crunch leading scorer Alexandre Picard led his team and all scorers in the season series last year with 11 points (8g, 3a) in seven games, including a memorable four-goal performance against the River Rats back on March 21. Third year pro Jerome Samson had five points (2g, 3a) against the Crunch last year and currently leads Albany and is tied for eighth in the AHL in scoring with 15 points (5g, 10a) so far this season.

PROVIDENCE BRUINS (BOSTON BRUINS): The Crunch welcome in the Providence Bruins for the first time in almost a decade. These two teams last met on March 18, 2001 at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in a 3-3 tie. The last game between these two clubs at the War Memorial at Oncenter took place on December 9, 2000 with the Crunch pulling out a 4-2 win. The Crunch are 5-8-1 in 14 all-time meetings with the Bruins. Providence defenseman Andy Wozniewski is currently tied for fourth in the AHL and is the league leader in scoring among defensemen, with 18 points (5g, 13a) in 14 games.

HAMILTON BULLDOGS (MONTREAL CANADIENS): The Crunch make their way to Canada for the first and only time this season, as they visit former North Division rival Hamilton at Copps Coliseum Saturday. These two clubs meet only once more after this weekend, with the Crunch hosting the Bulldogs at the War Memorial at Oncenter on April 9. Syracuse was 4-3-1-0 against Hamilton last year and owns a 44-38-14 record against the Bulldogs in 96 all-time meetings. Crunch center Trevor Frischmon notched five points (2g, 3a) of his 25 on the season against the Bulldogs last year. Hamilton Defenseman Yannick Weber recorded 10 points (3g, 7a) in seven games against the Crunch last year, while former Syracuse left wing Mathieu Darche currently paces the 'Dogs with 10 points (7g, 3a) in 13 games this season.

The Crunch penalty kill is 28-for-31 (90.32%) over the last four games… Jon Mirasty has recorded at least two penalty minutes in all but two games this season and currently ranks second in the AHL in that category (87 pim)… Syracuse's power play is currently in an 0-for-30 slump.

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