(2-7-0-0 home, 4-8-0-1 road), sixth place, North Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Friday, Dec. 8 @ Rochester
(16-4-1-0), 33 points, first place, North Division
Saturday, Dec. 9 vs. Philadelphia
(9-11-1-0), 19 points, sixth place, East Division
Sunday, Dec. 10 vs. Hamilton
(12-9-0-1), 25 points, tied-second place, North Division
LAST WEEK’S RESULTS
Wednesday, Nov. 29: Crunch 5, WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON 3
Friday, Dec. 1: BINGHAMTON 4, Crunch 2
Saturday, Dec. 2: Crunch 4,TORONTO 2
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
MOTZKO HEATS UP: Right wing Joe Motzko continued his strong play this weekend, extending his current point streak to six games (4g, 4a). He has 10 points (5g, 5a) in his last 10 games, recording at least one point in eight of the games. A native of Bemidji, Min., Motzko has appeared in 19 games for the Crunch this season with a team-high 20 points and 14 assists. Motzko is fourth on the Crunch’s all-time points (188) and assists (110) list and fifth in franchise history with 78 goals.
ASSISTS PILE UP FOR CALDWELL: Defenseman Ryan Caldwell enters this week having recorded at least one assist in four consecutive games after recording one in his first 12 games with Syracuse. Acquired by the Columbus Blue Jackets from the NY Islanders in exchange for Eric Bogunicki on Oct. 25, Caldwell has six points (1g, 5a) in 16 games for the Crunch this season. Originally drafted by the Islanders in the seventh round, 202nd overall, in the 2000 Entry Draft, the Deloraine, Manitoba native has appeared in 150 career contests with Bridgeport and Syracuse, tallying 42 points (5g, 37a) and 129 penalty minutes.
NICE DEBUT: Center Janne Hauhtonen made his North American debut on Saturday night, scoring the first Syracuse goal in the Crunch’s 4-2 victory over the Toronto Marlies on Saturday, Dec. 2. Hauhtonen missed the first 21 games of the season after suffering a hand injury during the preseason. Signed as a free agent by Columbus on July 21, 2006, Hauhtonen appeared in 319 Finnish Elite League games with JYP HT Jyvaskyla and HIFK Helsinki, recording 138 points (47g, 91a) and 323 penalty minutes.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
ROCHESTER (BUFFALO SABRES/FLORIDA PANTHERS): Syracuse travels to Rochester on Friday, Dec. 8 for the third of 12 regular season meetings. The series is tied at one game a piece after Rochester defeated Syracuse 2-1 in a shootout on Oct. 20 at Blue Cross Arena at the Rochester War Memorial. Right wing Joe Motzko (3a) and defenseman Filip Novak (3a) lead all players in head-to-head scoring with three points. Left wing Michael Ryan has scored Rochester’s only regulation goal against Syracuse. Crunch goaltender Tomas Popperle stopped all 22 Amerks shots in the Crunch’s win over the Amerks on Oct. 27. Rochester goaltender Jean-Marc Pelletier recorded 25 saves in the shootout win. Lifetime, the Crunch are 54-68-16 against the Amerks.
PHILADELPHIA (PHILADELPHIA FLYERS): The Crunch return to the War Memorial at Oncenter on Saturday, Dec. 9 to host Philadelphia for the second and final regular season meeting between the two teams. Syracuse defeated Philadelphia 5-2 on Nov. 15 at the Wachovia Spectrum. Several Crunch players have two points a piece in head-to-head scoring. Several Phantoms players have one point each in head-to-head scoring. Crunch goaltender Tomas Popperle recorded 22 saves in the win for Syracuse. Phantoms goaltender Martin Houle was credited with the loss, after allowing three goals on three shots. Scott Munroe posted 19 saves in relief of Houle. Lifetime, Syracuse is 15-16-8 against Philadelphia.
HAMILTON (MONTREAL CANADIENS): On Sunday, Dec. 10 Syracuse hosts Hamilton for the second of eight regular season meetings between the clubs. Hamilton defeated Syracuse in the teams only other meeting this season 5-3 on Nov. 3 at Copps Coliseum. Right wing Matt D’Agostini (2g, 2a) and center Maxim Lapierre (1g, 2a) lead all players in head-to-head scoring. Several Crunch players have two points each in head-to-head scoring. Bulldogs goaltender Yann Danis recorded 32 saves in the win. Crunch goaltender Tomas Popperle stopped 26 shots in the loss. Lifetime, Syracuse is 29-32-12 against Hamilton.
CRUNCHABLES: Left wing Mark Hartigan had a three-game goal streak snapped Saturday night in Toronto… Rookie center Trevor Frischmon notched his first AHL point, an assist, Saturday night in Toronto… Saturday night’s game marked the first time this season the Crunch have won a game in which their opponent scored first (1-10-0-1)… Saturday night was Ben Simon’s 300th career AHL game.