Ayers Records Back-to-Back Wins
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Down On The Farm: The Weekly Report from Syracuse
Ayers Records Back-to-Back Wins

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
2005-06 RECORD: 6-7-0-0, 12 points (4-2-0-0 home, 2-5-0-0 road), seventh place, North Division


Thursday, Nov. 17 @ Cleveland (7-7-0-0), 14 points, tied-fifth, North Division
Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (www.syracusecrunch.com)

Friday, Nov. 18 @ Rochester (9-5-0-0), 18 points, third place, North Division
Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (www.syracusecrunch.com)

Saturday, Nov. 19 @ Rochester (9-5-0-0), 18 points, third place, North Division
Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (www.syracusecrunch.com)
*Radio station subject to change.

Friday, Nov. 11: CRUNCH 5, Chicago 1
Saturday, Nov. 12: Crunch 3, ALBANY 0

AYERS MAKING MOST OF OPPORTUNITY: Rookie goaltender Mike Ayers continued to make a strong case for himself this weekend, allowing only one goal in back-to-back wins against the Chicago Wolves and Albany River Rats. On Friday night Ayers stopped 31 Chicago shots en route to a 5-1 Crunch victory and recorded his first AHL shutout the following night, turning aside all 33 Albany shots. It was the first shutout of the season for the Crunch. Ayers, who is currently on his second try-out contract with the Crunch this season, has appeared in a total of four games with Syracuse, posting a 3-1-0 record with a 1.80 goals against average and a .943 save percentage. In seven career AHL games with Grand Rapids, Cincinnati and Syracuse, Ayers has a 4-1-1 mark with a 1.91 goals against average. A native of Hingham, Massachusetts, Ayers was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the sixth round, 177th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft. He played for four seasons at New Hampshire (HE).

THAT’S MORE LIKE IT: Entering this past week Syracuse scored the games first goal in 7 of their 11 games but posted a 1-6-0-0 mark. The Crunch continued their trend of opening the games scoring by netting the first goal on both Friday and Saturday. The good news for Crunch fans is that Syracuse recorded victories in both games to improve to 3-6-0-0 this season when scoring first. Syracuse is 3-1-0-0 in games in which their opponent opens the scoring.


CLEVELAND (SAN JOSE SHARKS): Syracuse travels to Cleveland for the second of six regular season games on Thursday, November 17 at Quicken Loans Arena. The Barons defeated the Crunch 4-1 in their last meeting on Sunday, November 6 in Cleveland. Left wing Patrick Rissmiller leads all players in head-to-head scoring with three points (1g, 2a). Center Geoff Platt scored Syracuse’s lone goal. Goaltender Jamie Holden posted the win for Cleveland, recording 35 saves. Mike Ayers recorded 25 saves in the loss. Lifetime, the Crunch are 19-13-1 against the Barons.

ROCHESTER (BUFFALO SABRES): The Crunch play a home-and-home series with Rochester on Friday, November 18 at Blue Cross Arena and Saturday, November 19 at the War Memorial at Oncenter for the second and third of 12 regular season meetings. Syracuse defeated Rochester 6-3 in their last meeting on October 22 in Syracuse. Center Geoff Platt leads all players in head-to-head scoring with three points (3g). Several Amerks players have one point each. Goaltender Michael Leighton posted the loss, recording 21 saves. Andrew Penner recorded 41 saves. Lifetime, the Crunch are 49-62-14 against the River Rats.

CRUNCHABLES: Syracuse’s three goals in the second period in Albany on Saturday night more than doubled their total from their previous six road games (2 goals)… Center Andrew Murray recorded his first professional assist on Saturday night… Right wing Jaroslav Balastik broke a seven-game point drought recording a goal on Saturday against Albany… Syracuse’s largest margin of win this season came Friday night against Chicago (4 goals)… Syracuse has gone two consecutive games without allowing a power play goal against, killing off all 13 opportunities… Mark Hartigan, Joakim Lindstrom, Andrew Murray, Alexandre Picard and Ben Simon all enter this week on two-game point streaks… Syracuse recorded a season low one shot on goal in the third period of Saturday night’s game in Albany… Rookie center Geoff Platt leads the Crunch with 11 power play points this season… Right wing Brandon Sugden is four penalty minutes shy of 600 in his Crunch career. He currently trails John Badduke by 53 penalty minutes for second and Jeremy Reich by 224 for first all-time… Mike Ayers became the 15th different goaltender in Crunch history to record a shutout, when he blanked Albany on Saturday… Center Mark Hartigan appeared in his 200th AHL contest on Friday night against Chicago… Center Ben Simon recorded his 100th AHL point in Albany on Saturday night… Defenseman Jamie Pushor is two games shy of 100 in a Crunch uniform.

Ayers Records Back-to-Back Wins
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