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Minor League Report: December 11

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

Syracuse Crunch

2007-08 RECORD: 11-14-1-1, 24 points, (5-6-0-0 home, 6-8-1-1 road), third place, North Division



Wednesday, December 12 @ Lake Erie (7-13-1-3, 18 points), seventh place, North Division

Friday, December 14 @ Binghamton (12-9-3-1, 28 points), fourth place, East Division

Saturday, December 15 vs. Hamilton (8-10-0-3, 19 points), sixth place, North Division



Tuesday, December 4 - Crunch 3, CHICAGO 2

Wednesday, December 5 - ROCKFORD 2, Crunch 1 SO

Friday, December 7 - GRAND RAPIDS 2, Crunch 0

Saturday, December 8 - Crunch 2, GRAND RAPIDS 1



The Syracuse Crunch had a good week on the road, going 2-1-0-1 while picking up five out of a possible eight points with four games in Chicago, Rockford and back-to-back games in Grand Rapids Friday and Saturday. The Crunch improved their road record to 6-8-1-1 and moved into sole possession of third place in the tight North Division.

Tuesday night the Crunch snuck away with a 3-2 victory in Chicago. Chicago had the second best record in the American Hockey League going into that night's game. Down 2-1 going into the third period, the Crunch showed a lot of resilience when Jeffrey Szwez and Philippe Dupuis scored five minutes apart to take the lead. Adam Munro made some key saves down the stretch and turned aside 19 of 21 shots overall while picking up the win.

The Crunch were back at it in Rockford the following night for their first-ever visit to the Rockford MetroCentre. This game was a nail-biter with both teams' penalty killing units coming up huge. The Crunch were 0-for-7 and Rockford was 0-for-8 on the power play. The Hogs got on the board first with Ryan Stokes' goal 4:19 into the second period. Adam Pineault's tally just seven seconds into the third tied the game 1-1. The rest of the period and overtime ended in a deadlock. Rockford tallied three goals to the Crunch's two in the shootout to come away with the two points. The Crunch earned a hard-fought point on the road.

Friday night was another low-scoring affair as the Crunch fell to Grand Rapids, 2-0. It was the first time Syracuse has been shut out all season. After stopping 14 of 15 shots in the first period, Adam Munro was pulled after suffering a groin injury. Tomas Popperle came in and stopped 18 of 19 shots the rest of the way. Former Crunch center Mark Hartigan had 2 points (1g, 1a) against his former team. Jimmy Howard stopped all 26 shots he faced for the shutout victory.

Saturday the Crunch and Griffins met for the second of back-to-back games at Van Andel Arena. Syracuse battled hard knowing that it was the final game of a seven game in nine day stretch. Two goals in seven seconds by Andrew Murray and Jeffrey Szwez mid-way through the second period proved to be the difference as the Crunch skated out of Grand Rapids with a 2-1 win. Tomas Popperle was superb, stopping 34 of 35 shots.



The Syracuse Crunch announced December 10 that the Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled center Derek MacKenzie.

MacKenzie, 26, has appeared in 27 games with Syracuse this season, tallying 10 goals, 5 assists and 24 penalty minutes. He has appeared in 28 National Hockey League games, all with Atlanta, notching 2 assists and 20 penalty minutes. A native of Sudbury, Ontario, MacKenzie was signed as a free agent by Columbus on July 11, 2007.



LAKE ERIE MONSTERS (COLORADO AVALANCHE): The Crunch travel to Cleveland Wednesday to take on the Lake Erie Monsters for the third time this season. Lake Erie took the first meeting back on October 20, 3-2 at the War Memorial. The Crunch won the last meeting on December 2 @ Lake Erie, 5-2. Syracuse's Derek MacKenzie leads all scorers in the season series with 4 points (3g, 1a).

BINGHAMTON SENATORS (OTTAWA SENATORS): The Crunch finish their season-long seven-game road trip Friday night in Binghamton, their third visit to the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena this season. The first meeting was a 4-1 win back on October 12. The last meeting saw the B-Sens skate away with the 4-3 victory. Four players in the series have 3 points (1g, 2a) each. They are Binghamton's Niko Dimitrakos and Josh Hennessy and Syracuse's Kris Beech and Derick Brassard.

HAMILTON BULLDOGS (MONTREAL CANADIENS): Syracuse finally returns home Saturday night as they take on the Hamilton Bulldogs at the War Memorial at Oncenter. This will be the third meeting of the season between these two teams. The Crunch have won both previous meetings, taking the first game 2-1 back on October 19 at home and 3-2 at Hamilton on November 2 in a shootout.


After giving up 69 goals in the first 21 games for an average of 3.29 goals per game, the team defense has only allowed 10 goals over the last six contests, an average of just 1.67 goals per game… The Crunch are 3-1-0-1 on their current road trip and 4-1-0-1 over their last six games…After Saturday night's game, the Crunch finished a stretch of seven games in nine days…Saturday night was the fourth time in team history that Syracuse has been held to just one shot in a period…Friday night marked the sixth start in a row for goaltender Adam Munro before he was pulled due to injury in that game… Jeffrey Szwez has 4 points (3g, 1a) in his last 5 games.

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