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Down on the Farm: Popperle has Outstanding Month

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets

2006-07 RECORD: 30-33-3-8, 71 points (18-13-3-3 home, 12-20-0-5 road), fifth place, North Division

 

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Wednesday, April 4 vs. Grand Rapids (35-27-6-5), 81 points, fourth place, North Division

Thursday, April 5 @ Hamilton (40-25-3-5), 88 points, second place, North Division

Friday, April 7 vs. Rochester (43-29-1-0), 87 points, third place, North Division

 

LAST WEEK'S RESULT

Wednesday, March 28 - ALBANY 8, Crunch 6

Friday, March 30 - CRUNCH 8, Binghamton 4

Saturday, March 31 - Toronto 2, CRUNCH 1 SOL

Sunday, April 1 - BINGHAMTON 4, Crunch 1

HOME TEAM IN CAPS

 

MONTH OF MARCH GOOD TO ROOKIE: Goaltender Tomas Popperle posted his best month yet, finishing March with a 9-2-1 record, a 2.80 goals against average and a .905 save percentage in 750:38 minutes played. In 46 games with Syracuse this season, Popperle has a 24-17-4 record, a 2.88 goals against average and .902 save percentage. In his rookie season, Popperle has posted four shutouts, tying him for fourth with Mike Fountain on the Crunch's all-time shutout list. He is also seventh on the all-time list with his 24 wins and eighth with 45 games played all-time. A native of Broumov, Czech Republic, Popperle was drafted by Columbus in the fifth round, 131st overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

KONOPKA TALLIES HAT-TRICK: Center Zenon Konopka tallied three goals in the Crunch's 8-4 win over Binghamton on Friday night for his first hat-trick in a Crunch uniform. Despite a 8-6 loss to Albany on Wednesday night, Konopka registered three helpers. Konopka has been a force on the ice for the Crunch tallying 20 points (9g, 11a) and 70 penalty minutes in 20 games with Syracuse this season.

TIME CHANGE FOR APRIL 7 GAME VERSUS ROCHESTER: As a reminder to all fans, the Crunch's April 7 game against the Rochester Americans has been moved to 8:30 p.m.

NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COLUMBUS UPDATE: The Blue Jackets went 0-3-0 on the week falling to Anaheim 5-2 on March 29, Chicago 3-1 on March 30 and Detroit 4-1 on April 1. Defensemen Aaron Johnson tallied a goal, while left wing Jody Shelley and defenseman Marc Methot each had one assist. Former Columbus defenseman Francois Beauchemin tallied one goal and one assist in the Ducks win over the Blue Jackets on Thursday.

 

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:

GRAND RAPIDS (DETROIT RED WINGS): Syracuse hosts Grand Rapids on Wednesday, April 4 for the fourth and final regular season meeting between the clubs. The Crunch are 1-1-0-1 against the Griffins, after defeating Grand Rapids 5-3 on March 3 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Center Andrew Murray (1g, 3a) leads all Crunch players in head-to-head scoring with four points. Right wing Jamie Tardif (3g, 1a) and left wing Jeff Campbell (2g, 2a) lead all Griffins players with four points in head-to-head scoring. Goaltender Tomas Popperle posted the win for Syracuse, recording 33 saves. Goaltender Stefan Liv has appeared in all three games for Grand Rapids, posting a 2-1-0 record, a 3.27 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. Lifetime, the Crunch are 2-9-2 against the Griffins.

HAMILTON (MONTREAL CANADIENS): Syracuse travels to Hamilton on Thursday, April 5 for the eighth and final regular season meeting between the teams. The Crunch are 3-3-1-0 against the Bulldogs after defeating Hamilton 3-2 in Montreal at the Bell Centre on March 18. Right wing Matt D'Agostini (8g, 3a) and center Corey Locke (3g, 8a) lead all players in head-to-head scoring with 11 points each. Defenseman Andy Canzanello (4a) and Filip Novak (4a) lead the Crunch in head-to-head scoring with four points. Goaltender Yann Danis has appeared in four games for Hamilton, posting a 2-2-0 record, a 3.86 goals against average and a .884 save percentage. Goaltender Tomas Popperle has appeared in net four times for Syracuse, posting a 2-2-0 record, a 3.27 goals against average and a .884 save percentage. Lifetime, Syracuse is 32-35-12 against Hamilton.

ROCHESTER (BUFFALO SABRES/FLORIDA PANTHERS): The Crunch host the Americans on Saturday, April 7 for the tenth of 12 regular season meetings between the clubs. Syracuse is 4-2-0-2 against Rochester after defeating them3-2 on March 25 in Rochester. Defenseman Filip Novak leads all players in head-to-head scoring with 10 points (2g, 8a). Mark Mancari leads all Rochester players in head-to-head scoring with six points (1g, 5a). Goaltender Tomas Popperle has appeared in sevem games for Syracuse, posting a 4-2-1 record, a 2.73 goals against average and a .898 save percentage. Goaltender Adam Dennis has appeared between the pipes three times for Rochester, posting a 0-3-0 record, a 4.73 goals against average and a .825 save percentage. Lifetime, the Crunch are 58-70-17 against the Americans.

 

CRUNCHABLES: After a season-high five-game win streak from March 17 – March 25, Syracuse has dropped three of their last four games (1-2-0-1)… Defenseman Ryan Caldwell had his four-game assist streak snapped last night at Binghamton… On Sunday night, Binghamton was awarded a penalty shot in the second period. Popperle made the stop in the team's first penalty shot appearance this season… Syracuse appeared in their ninth shootout of the season on Saturday night against Toronto where they dropped a 2-1 decision. The Crunch are 1-8 on the season in shootouts.

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