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Down On The Farm: The Weekly Report from Syracuse

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
2005-06 RECORD: 12-8-1-0, 25 points (7-2-0-0 home, 5-6-1-0 road), fourth place, North Division

Friday, Dec. 9 @ Hamilton (8-16-0-2), 18 points, seventh place, North Division
Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (
Saturday, Dec. 10 vs. Toronto (10-12-0-0), 20 points, fifth place, North Division
Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (
*Radio station subject to change.

Saturday, Dec. 3:
Crunch 5, HERSHEY 4 SO
Sunday, Dec. 4: Crunch 4, PHILADELPHIA 2

CRUNCH CONTINUE TO GATHER POINTS: Syracuse’s 5-4 shootout victory over Hershey on Saturday night and 4-2 win over Philadelphia on Sunday night extended the team’s winning streak to a season-high four games. In addition, the Crunch have now recorded a point in nine of their last 10 games (8-1-1-0, 17 pts), after dropping five straight games prior.

FIRST SHOOTOUT A SUCCESS: Last season Syracuse appeared in 14 shootouts behind only Edmonton and Utah with 15 and tied with St. John’s (14). On Saturday, Dec. 3 at Hershey, the team made its first shootout appearance of the 2005-06 season, with goaltender Andrew Penner in net. Penner turned aside 36 of Hershey’s 40 shots, including five of six shootout attempts. Right wing Joe Motzko shot first for the Crunch, followed by left wing Joakim Lindstrom, right wing Nikolai Zherdev, center Geoff Platt and center Mark Hartigan. Zherdev converted to force the shootout into the sixth round, where Lindstrom scored the winning goal for Syracuse.

SUGDEN REACHES 600 MARK: Right wing Brandon Sugden (602) surpassed the 600 penalty minute mark on Sunday, Dec. 4 @ Philadelphia. Sugden is only the third Crunch player to do so. Jeremy Reich is first on the all-time penalty minutes list with 820, followed by John Badduke with 649.

CRUNCH MAKE ROSTER MOVES: The Syracuse Crunch announced today that the Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled centers Dan Fritsche and Geoff Platt and right wing Nikolai Zherdev. The team also announced that they have recalled center Brett Nowak from Dayton (ECHL).

Fritsche, 20, appeared in two games with Syracuse this season, posting one assist and two penalty minutes. In 22 games with Columbus this season, Fritsche has tallied two goals, one assist and two penalty minutes. Fritsche recorded two goals in four games with Syracuse during the 2003-04 season. In 44 career NHL games with Columbus, he has registered 3 goals, 1 assist and 14 penalty minutes. A native of Parma, Ohio, Fritsche was selected by Columbus in the second round, 46th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

Zherdev, 21, appeared in two games with Syracuse this season, recording one goal. In 25 games with Columbus this season, Zherdev has recorded 4 goals, 7 assists and 20 penalty minutes. In 82 career NHL games, all with Columbus, Zherdev has tallied 17 goals, 28 assists and 74 penalty minutes. Last season Zherdev played for CSKA Moscow (Russia), appearing in 51 games registering 19 goals, 21 assists and 62 penalty minutes. A native of Kiev, Ukraine, Zherdev was selected by Columbus in the first round, 4th overall, in the 2003 Entry Draft.

Platt, 20, has appeared in 21 games this season with Syracuse, tallying a team-high 24 points and 15 goals. In the American Hockey League, Platt is third with eight power play goals, fourth in goals scored, seventh with two short-handed goals and fourteenth in points. He is third among rookies in scoring. Platt made his NHL debut on Thursday, December 1 against St. Louis, registering two penalty minutes. A native of Mississauga, Ontario, Platt signed an NHL contract with Columbus on November 23, 2005.

Nowak, 24, has appeared in four games with Dayton this season, recording two goals, three assists and four penalty minutes. In 13 games with Syracuse this season, Nowak has recorded 1 goal, 3 assists and 15 penalty minutes. A native of New Haven Connecticut, Nowak was signed to an AHL contract with Syracuse this off season.

ODD FACT: With their win over Philadelphia on Sunday, Dec. 4, Syracuse improved their record to 7-1-1-0 when allowing the game’s first goal. However, the Crunch are 5-7-0-0 when scoring first.


HAMILTON (MONTREAL CANADIENS AND EDMONTON OILERS): Syracuse concludes a three-game road trip on Friday, Dec. 9 at the Copps Coliseum in Hamilton for the third of eight regular season games against the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs defeated Syracuse 7-6 in their last meeting at the War Memorial at Oncenter on Friday, Oct. 28. Center Geoff Platt leads all Crunch players in head-to-head scoring with five points (2g, 3a). Left wing Jean-Francois Jacques leads the Bulldogs with four points (3g, 1a) in head-to-head scoring. Goaltender Mike Ayers posted the win for Syracuse (28 saves), while Andrew Penner was credited with the loss (30 saves). Olivier Michaud (1-0-0, 25 saves) and Ty Conklin (0-1-0, 25 saves), split time in net for Hamilton. Lifetime, the Crunch are 25-30-11 against the Bulldogs.

TORONTO (TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS): The Crunch return home on Saturday, Dec. 10 to host Toronto for the fourth of eight regular season meetings. Syracuse defeated Toronto 3-2 in their last meeting on Nov. 26 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Center Mark Hartigan leads all Crunch players in head-to-head scoring with five points (1g, 4a). Center John Pohl leads the Marlies in head-to-head scoring with five points (4g, 1a). Goaltender Andrew Penner recorded 25 saves in his win for Syracuse. Martin Prusek has appeared in two games for Syracuse, posting a 1-1-0 record and 62 total saves. Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin has appeared in two games for Toronto, posting a 1-1-0 record and 64 total saves. Lifetime, the Crunch are 2-1-0 against the Marlies.

CRUNCHABLES: Center Mark Hartigan had his team-high six-game point streak snapped on Sunday, Dec. 4 @ Philadelphia (11/11-12/3 – 1g, 8a)… Right wing Joe Motzko is on a five-game point streak (2g, 4a)… Left wing Joakim Lindstrom’s goal in the first period on Saturday, Dec. 3 @ Hershey was his first even-strength goal this season. His penalty shot in the second was credited as a short-handed tally due the Crunch being down a man when the shot was awarded… Center Dan Fritsche recorded his first Crunch assist of the season, while right wing Nikolai Zherdev recorded his first AHL goal on Sunday, Dec. 4 @ Philadelphia… Goaltender Pascal Leclaire registered his second assist of the season on Sunday… Center Andrew Murray broke an eight-game goal drought with his goal Sunday.

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