2006-07 RECORD: 19-28-2-6, 46 points (11-11-2-2 home, 8-16-0-4 road), sixth place, North Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Wednesday, February 21 @ Grand Rapids (26-21-4-2), 58 points, fourth place, North Division
Friday, February 23 @ Hamilton (33-19-2-2), 70 points, second place, North Division
Saturday, February 24 vs. Manitoba (29-16-7-4), 69 points, third place, North Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Wednesday, February 14 @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Game Postponed
Friday, February 16 Manitoba 3, CRUNCH 2 OTL
Saturday, February 17 Rochester 5, CRUNCH 2
Monday, February 19 CRUNCH 5, Hamilton 3
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
KONOPKA MAKES HOME DEBUT FOR CRUNCH: Twenty-four hours after his scheduled home debut center Zenon Konopka finally made his War Memorial debut on Saturday night against the Rochester Americans. Konopka, who was assigned to the Crunch by the Blue Jackets on Thursday morning was unable to leave Columbus that night and spent the entire day on Friday making his way through numerous cancelled and delayed flights to finally arrive in Syracuse about 1 ½ before the Crunch took on the Manitoba Moose to only have his equipment fail to make it.
After all that his home debut lasted less than a period as he received a match penalty 18:27 into the first period against the Americans. Konopka was back at it on Monday night tallying his first goal in a Crunch uniform, adding an assist to go along with seven penalty minutes.
A native of Niagara Falls, Ontario, Konopka was acquired in a trade on January 26 from the Anaheim Mighty Ducks. He has appeared in 26 NHL games with Anaheim and Columbus with 7 points (4g, 3a) and 68 penalty minutes and 201 AHL contests with Wilkes-Barre, Utah, Cincinnati, Portland and Syracuse tallying 140 points (54g, 86a) and 592 penalty minutes.
NORTH DIVISION FOES MAKE UP MAJORITY OF REMAINING REGUALR SEASON GAMES: With some ground to be made up in the playoff race the good news for the Crunch is that 15 of their 25 remaining games are against their North Division rivals. The breakdown is Rochester - five games (2 home, 3 road), Hamilton - four games (1 home, 3 road), Grand Rapids - three games (2 home, 1 road), Toronto - two games (2 home) and Manitoba one home game. Nine of the Crunch’s remaining games are against the East Division with Albany leading the way with four games (2 home, 2 road), Wilkes-Barre/Scranton – three games (1 home, 2 road) and Binghamton – two games (1 home, 1 road). Syracuse has one remaining game against West Division rival Houston.
NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COLUMBUS UPDATE: Columbus finished last week with a 1-2-0 record. They lost 4-2 to St. Louis on February 14 and dropped a 3-2 decision to Montreal on February 18. The Blue Jackets lone victory was a 3-0 win over San Jose on February 16. In Columbus’ three games former Crunch Alexandre Svitov (1g, 1a), Nikolai Zherdev (1g, 1a) and Dan Fritsche (2a) registered a point. Former Crunch goaltender Pascal Leclaire was in net in both of the Blue Jackets losses, recording 13 saves against St. Louis and 25 saves against Montreal.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
GRAND RAPIDS (DETROIT RED WINGS): The Crunch travel to Grand Rapids on Wednesday, February 21 for the second of four regular season meetings between the clubs. Grand Rapids defeated Syracuse 4-3 on February 7 at Van Andel Arena in the only other meeting of the season between the two clubs. Center Andrew Murray (1g, 1a) leads all Crunch players in head-to-head scoring with two points. Several Griffins players have two points each as well in head-to-head scoring. Griffins goaltender Stefan Liv posted 39 saves in the win. Crunch goaltender Dan LaCosta was credited with the loss, recording 17 saves. Lifetime, the Crunch are 1-9-1 against the Griffins.
HAMILTON (MONTREAL CANADIENS): On Friday, February 23 Syracuse travels to Hamilton for the fifth of eight regular season meetings between the clubs. The Crunch are 1-3-0-0 against the Bulldogs, after defeating Hamilton 5-3 on February 19 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Center Corey Locke leads all players in head-to-head scoring with seven points (3g, 4a). Center Geoff Platt (4g) and left wing Alexandre Picard (4a) lead all Crunch players with four points in head-to-head scoring. Goaltender Yann Danis has appeared in two games for Hamilton, posting a 1-1-0 record, a 4.45 goals against average and a .868 save percentage. Goaltender Ty Conklin has appeared in two games for Syracuse, posting a 1-1-0 record, a 2.00 goals against average and a .933 save percentage. Lifetime, the Crunch are 30-34-12 against the Bulldogs.
MANITOBA (VANCOUVER CANUCKS): On Saturday, February 24 the Crunch host the Moose for the eighth and final regular season meeting between the clubs. The Crunch are 2-3-1-1, after losing to the Moose 3-2 in overtime on Friday, February 16 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Moose left wing Jason Jaffray lead all players in head-to-head scoring with nine points (4g, 5a). Right wing Adam Pineault leads all Crunch players in head-to-head scoring with four points (2g, 2a). Goaltender Drew MacIntyre has appeared in net four times for Manitoba, posting a 3-0-0 record, a 2.52 goals against average and a .926 save percentage. Goaltender Ty Conklin has appeared in net four times for Syracuse posting a 0-3-1 record, a 2.91 goals against average and a .905 save percentage. Lifetime, Syracuse is 8-9-2 against Manitoba.
CRUNCHABLES: Left wing Curtis Glencross is currently on a three-game goal scoring streak… Syracuse's 5-3 win over Hamilton on Monday snapped a six-game winless streak… Goaltender Ty Conklin's win on Monday was his first win since November 17 at Albany.