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Crunch Report: October 27, 2009

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2009-10 RECORD: 3-4-1-1, 8 points, (3-0-1-0 home, 0-4-0-1 road), sixth place, East Division


THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Friday, October 30 @ Norfolk (3-5-0-0, 6 points), seventh place, East Division
Sunday, November 1 @ Adirondack (4-3-1-0, 9 points), fourth place, East Division


LAST WEEK'S RESULT

Friday, October 23 - CRUNCH 4, Binghamton 3
Saturday, October 24 - Rochester 3, CRUNCH 2 OT
Sunday, October 25 - ROCHESTER 3, Crunch 0

HOME TEAM IN CAPS

GET SHORTY: Crunch captain Derek MacKenzie has had a quite a knack for scoring shorthanded goals throughout his career. In fact, he made quite a splash in his first-ever Crunch game on October 5, 2007 @ Rochester by scoring his first goal as a member of the Crunch while down a man.

MacKenzie went on to score five (5) shorthanded goals during the 2007-08 season, finishing tied for fourth in the AHL in that category. Two of those five goals came in a rare feat, when MacKenzie scored on a shorthanded penalty shot. He beat Michael Leighton on October 24, 2007 in a 3-2 loss @ Albany and scored on Jason Bacashihua in a 5-2 win on December 2, 2007 @ Lake Erie.

After scoring one (1) shorthanded goal in 2008-09, MacKenzie has two already this season, notching shorties in back-to-back games on October 17 @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton and this past Friday, October 23 in a 4-3 win over Binghamton. He is currently tied for the AHL league lead in that category.

MacKenzie is now tied for second place on the Crunch's all-time shorthanded goals list (8) with Adam Pineault, and needs just one more to tie co-leaders Brad Moran and Joe Motzko, who both have nine. In addition to being tied for second all-time in shorthanded goals in Crunch history, MacKenzie is the all-time Chicago Wolves franchise leader in shorthanded goals, tallying 21 in 377 games.

HOLDEN MAKES SUCCESSFUL RETURN: Crunch defenseman Nick Holden finally made his way into the lineup this past weekend vs. Rochester on Saturday, October 24.

Holden missed all of training camp and the first seven games of the season due to a bout with mononucleosis. He made an immediate impact, notching one assist while being named the game's second star. Holden will be relied on this season to play big minutes, contribute offensively and shut down the other team’s offense.

Holden recorded four assists in his first 31 games last season before registering four goals and 14 assists over his last 30 games en route to being named the Crunch's Most Improved Player. A native of St. Albert, Alberta, Holden was signed by Columbus as a free agent on March 28, 2008.


UPCOMING GAMES:

NORFOLK ADMIRALS (TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING):
The Crunch make the roughly nine hour drive from Syracuse to Norfolk, Virginia to take on the Admirals this Friday, October 30 at the Scope. It will be the first time the Crunch have made a visit to Norfolk since January 17, 2003, a span of nearly seven years. These two clubs met back on October 16, with the Crunch pulling out a 5-4 win on the strength of two points (1g, 1a) each from Maksim Mayorov and Tom Sestito. Ryan Craig (2g, 0a), Mark Parrish (1g, 1a) and Juraj Simek (0g, 2a) each tallied three points for Norfolk.

ADIRONDACK PHANTOMS (PHILADELPHIA FLYERS): The Crunch travel to Glens Falls, NY to battle the Phantoms on Sunday, November 1 for the first time this season at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The Crunch defeated Adirondack 6-1 in the first meeting of the year between these two clubs in the Quickway Home Opener back on October 10. Pascal Pelletier was the first star of that game, posting a Crunch season and individual-high three points (1g, 2a). It was the largest margin of win the Crunch have had this season (five goals).

CRUNCHABLES:
The Crunch are one of 10 AHL teams left without a regulation loss at home this season… Kevin Lalande played in his first game Sunday since October 10 vs. Adirondack… The Crunch have been outscored in the third period on the road this season by a 9-2 margin… Syracuse is one for its last 18 on the power play… Alexandre Picard skated in his 200th AHL and Crunch game Saturday vs. Rochester… Jared Aulin skated in his 200th AHL game Friday vs. Binghamton… Nick Holden played in his first game of the season and notched his first point, an assist on Tim Miller's first period goal Saturday vs. Rochester… Jamie Johnson's goal Saturday was the first goal allowed by the Crunch in the third period at home this season… MacKenzie, Jonathan Sigalet, and Tom Sestito all had their three game point streaks come to an end and Alexandre Picard had his season-high five-game point streak snapped Saturday… Jordan LaVallee-Smotherman tallied his first goal as a member of the Crunch Friday… Crunch left wing Jon Mirasty leads the AHL in penalty minutes with 66…Syracuse has been outshot in seven of nine games this season.

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