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Crunch Report: October 20, 2009

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2009-10 RECORD: 2-3-0-1, 5 points, (2-0-0-0 home, 0-3-0-1 road), sixth place, East Division


THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Friday, October 23 vs. Binghamton (2-2-2-0, 6 points), fifth place, East Division
Saturday, October 24 vs. Rochester (4-1-1-0, 9 points), second place, North Division
Sunday, October 25 @ Rochester (4-1-1-0, 9 points), second place, North Division


LAST WEEK'S RESULT

Friday, October 16 - CRUNCH 5, Norfolk 4
Saturday, October 17 - Crunch 3, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 4 SO

HOME TEAM IN CAPS


LOCAL FLAVOR: Rome, NY native and Crunch left wing Tom Sestito is now in his third professional year and off to one of his best personal starts ever. The rugged left wing has been a consistent offensive contributor so far this season, tallying five points (3g, 2a), in his first six games. After scoring 20 points (8g, 12a) in 52 games in an injury-plagued 2008-09 and 23 points (7g, 16a) in 66 games in his rookie season in 2007-08, he is on pace to set career highs in all major offensive categories.

Sestito notched three points (2g, 1a) in two games this past weekend, helping the Crunch take three of four possible points with a 5-4 come-from-behind win on Friday at home vs. Norfolk and a 4-3 shootout loss at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Saturday.

His goal on Saturday at Wilkes-Barre was a typical power forward goal. He went hard to the net, got knocked down, found a rebound and chipped it past John Curry from his knees to tie the game at 1-1.

With three goals already in his first six games, Sestito is showing the form he acquired while playing for Plymouth (OHL) in 2006-07, when he scored 42 goals for the Whalers, ranking 13th in the OHL. Sestito was selected by Columbus in the third round, 85th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.

PICARD MOVING UP ALL-TIME LISTS: Crunch left wing Alexandre Picard is slowly but surely moving up the all-time franchise list in a number of categories. The Les Saules, Quebec native is in his fifth season with the Crunch and is only two games away from reaching 200 games in his Crunch and AHL career.

With his goal on Friday night vs. Norfolk, Picard moved into sole possession of tenth place on the all-time list in goals (58), passing Larry Courville. In addition, he needs to skate in just 18 more contests to crack the top ten list in all-time games played, and currently sits in sixth place all-time in power play goals (28), four behind Joe Motzko for fifth place.

So far this season, Picard has appeared in all six games for the Crunch and is tied for the team lead in scoring with seven points (3g, 4a). He was selected by Columbus in the first round, eighth overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.


UPCOMING GAMES

BINGHAMTON SENATORS (OTTAWA SENATORS):
The Crunch welcome in Binghamton to the War Memorial at Oncenter Friday for the first time this season and second of eight overall meetings between these two clubs. The Senators took the first game at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena back on October 9. The Crunch notched the first two goals of the game before giving up six unanswered goals to the B-Sens, falling by a 6-2 count. Six different players scored for Binghamton, while Jared Aulin and Brent Regner tallied for the Crunch. Syracuse has fared much better at home against Binghamton, posting an 11-3-1-1 record against the Senators over the past five seasons at the War Memorial at Oncenter.

ROCHESTER AMERICANS (FLORIDA PANTHERS): The Crunch welcome in Rochester to the War Memorial at Oncenter Saturday and travel to Blue Cross Arena on Sunday to wrap up a home-and-home series with their I-90 rivals for the second and third of 10 meetings between these two clubs. Rochester took the first game in the season series, a 4-1 win in Rochester back on October 12. Graham Mink, Michal Repik and Chris Taylor all had two points (1g, 1a) for the Americans, while Alexandre Picard potted the only Crunch goal. Syracuse has dominated Rochester at home in recent years and is on a current streak of 12 straight home wins vs. the Amerks dating back to April 14, 2007.


CRUNCHABLES:

The Crunch have had eight (8) players record multiple-point games already this season… Sestito has tallied two points (1g, 1a) in both Crunch wins… Derek MacKenzie moved into a fourth place tie with Adam Pineault on the Crunch’s all-time shorthanded goals list (7) with his tally on Saturday @ Wilkes-Barre… Jared Aulin’s next game will be the 200th of his AHL career… The Crunch are 0-3-0-1 when getting outshot by their opponent.

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