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Minor League Report: Crunch Begin Season

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets
SYRACUSE CRUNCH

2007-08 RECORD: 0-2-0-0, 0 points, (0-0-0-0 home, 0-2-0-0 road), seventh place, North Division

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Friday, October 12 @ Binghamton (0-1-0-0), sixth place, Atlantic Division

Saturday, October 13 vs. Hartford (0-1-0-0), fifth place, Atlantic Division

LAST WEEK’S RESULT

Friday, October 5 - ROCHESTER 6, Crunch 4

Saturday, October 6 - Wilkes Barre/Scranton 3, CRUNCH 2

VETERAN MACKENZIE, ROOKIE BRASSARD HAVE STRONG OPENING WEEKEND: AHL veteran Derek MacKenzie had a solid opening weekend with the Crunch as he tallied two goals in his first two games. On Friday, he scored an unassisted shorthanded goal to cut Rochester’s lead to 5-3. On Saturday, MacKenzie scored with one minute left in regulation to cut Wilkes-Barre/Scranton’s lead to 3-2. Making his professional debut this past weekend, rookie center and Columbus first round draft pick Derick Brassard played well, tallying his first two AHL points. On Friday night in Rochester, Brassard scored the third of three goals in a 5:20 span of the third period to trim the Amerks’ lead to 5-4. On Saturday night in Wilkes-Barre, he fed a centering pass to MacKenzie who slammed it home from the top of the crease which trimmed the Penguins’ lead to 3-2.

EIGHT PLAYERS MAKE CRUNCH DEBUT: Eight players made their Crunch debut over the weekend (Dan Smith, Mikko Maenpaa, Tom Sestito, Derek MacKenzie, Derick Brassard, Kris Beech, Bruno St. Jacques and Andrei Plekhanov)… Tom Sestito and Derick Brassard made their professional debuts and Mikko Maenpaa and Andrei Plekhanov made their North American debut. Seven of the eight players who made their Crunch debut recorded at least one point. The only exception was defenseman Dan Smith, who played well defensively.

THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS:

BINGHAMTON SENATORS (OTTAWA SENATORS): Syracuse travels to Binghamton on Friday, October 12 for the first of eight meetings between these two teams. The first four games are at Binghamton. They do not play each other at the War Memorial at on center until February 15. Last season the Crunch lost the season series to Binghamton, going 3-4-0-1.

HARTFORD WOLF PACK (NEW YORK RANGERS): The Crunch open up their home schedule on Saturday, October 13 against the Hartford Wolf Pack. This is the first and only meeting of the season between these two teams. These two teams did not play each other last season. The Crunch split the season series with the Wolf Pack in 2005-06, going 1-1-0-0.

UPCOMING PROMOTIONS:

October 13 - Vincent Pastore, a.k.a. ‘Big Pussy’ from the Sopranos to Appear at Quickway Opening Night: Vincent Pastore from HBO’s hit television drama ‘The Sopranos’ will be on hand on Saturday, October 13 to participate in the Crunch’s Quickway opening night. Pastore will participate in the opening night ceremonies and be available for autographs after the first period.

CRUNCHABLES: Dan Smith, Steven Goertzen and Derek MacKenzie all wore an “A” on Friday. Kris Beech, Andrew Murray and Bruno St. Jacques wore the “A” on Saturday night. A team captain is expected to be named at a later date. The Penguins’ goaltending tandem Saturday night featured former Crunch goalies Karl Goehring and Ty Conklin. Conklin picked up the win against his former team, stopping 31 of 33 shots. Andrei Plekhanov notched his first AHL point with an assist on Geoff Platt’s goal in the second period. The Crunch have not had a lead yet this season and have been outscored 5-0 in the first period. On Friday night in Rochester, Andrew Murray played in his 150th game as a member of the Crunch. Former Crunch goaltender Pascal Leclaire recorded his first shutout of the season and second of his NHL career in the Blue Jackets’ opener Friday night. Leclaire stopped all 28 shots he faced, backstopping Columbus to a 2-0 win over the defending Stanley Cup Champion Anaheim Ducks.

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