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Minor League Report: February 10

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2008-09 RECORD: 24-21-3-2, 53 points, (12-8-1-0 home, 12-13-2-2 road), fifth place, North Division

THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Wednesday, February 11 @ Toronto (24-19-2-5, 55 points), fourth place, North Division
Friday, February 13 vs. Grand Rapids (31-11-6-4, 72 points), second place, North Division
Saturday, February 14 vs. Springfield (16-27-6-1, 39 points), seventh place, Atlantic Division


LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Wednesday, February 4 - Crunch 2, HAMILTON 1
Friday, February 6 - LAKE ERIE 3, Crunch 2
Saturday, February 7 - Crunch 4, TORONTO 1
HOME TEAM IN CAPS


THE GREAT DANE: At the start of the season, goaltender Sebastian Dahm only figured into the Syracuse Crunch's plans if there was going to be any injuries/call-ups to Steve Mason and/or Dan LaCosta, who were penciled in to be Syracuse's number one and two goaltenders at the beginning of the year.

But, with the emergence of Mason as the number one netminder in Columbus and with LaCosta getting recalled due to Mason going on injured reserve, Dahm got his chance last week to show what he can do.

In three games last week, Dahm went 2-1-0 with a 1.69 goals against average and .949 save percentage. Dahm was very solid on Wednesday night in Hamilton, stopping 27 of 28 Bulldogs' bids en route to securing the win and being named the game's third star.

Dahm denied 24 of 27 shots in the Crunch's Friday night 3-2 loss in Cleveland to the Lake Erie Monsters, but the Danish rookie bounced back with his best effort of the season on Saturday night in Toronto, making a season-high 42 saves in a 4-1 win over the Marlies as the Crunch were outshot 43-15. For his effort, he was named the third star of the game.

A native of Copenhagen, Denmark, Dahm was signed by the Crunch to an American Hockey League contract on September 1, 2008.

GOING IN FOR THE KILL: After giving up two power play goals in back-to-back games on January 17 and 19, the Syracuse Crunch penalty kill was sitting at just an 81.63% success rate, putting them near the bottom of the American Hockey League in that category.

Since that point, the Crunch have gone 42-for-45 on the kill, a success rate of 93.33%, including a stretch of killing off 29 consecutive penalties. The Crunch have improved their penalty killing percentage to 83.39%, good for 13th in the AHL.

 
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
TORONTO MARLIES (TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS): The Crunch head to Toronto Wednesday for the second of back-to-back games against the Marlies at Ricoh Coliseum. Syracuse has taken three of the first four meetings against Toronto this season, including a 4-1 win Saturday night. Aaron Rome leads all players in the season series with five points (1g, 4a). Staffan Kronwall (2g, 2a), recently claimed off waivers by the Washington Capitals, and Tim Stapleton (0g, 4a) lead all Marlies players in the season series in scoring.

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS (DETROIT RED WINGS): The Crunch welcome in the Grand Rapids Griffins Friday night for the first time this season for the third of four meetings between these two clubs this year. The Crunch are 1-1-0-0 against the Griffins this season, winning in a shootout on October 29 on the strength of a regulation and tiebreaker goal from Nikita Filatov and 32 saves from Steve Mason, one of three games he started for the Crunch this year before being recalled by Columbus. The Crunch dropped a 5-1 decision to Grand Rapids on December 17. Griffins goaltender and Syracuse native Jimmy Howard is 1-0-1 against the Crunch this year with a 0.96 goals against average and .956 save percentage.

SPRINGFIELD FALCONS (EDMONTON OILERS): The Springfield Falcons make their one and only visit to the War Memorial at Oncenter on Saturday, the second of two meetings between these two teams this season. Springfield won the only other match-up, a 2-1 shootout victory back on November 14. It will be a homecoming of sorts for two Springfield players, as Syracuse native Rob Schremp and Rome, NY native and Falcons captain, Tim Sestito make their way back to Central New York. Tim is the older brother of the Crunch's Tom Sestito. Gilbert Brule also makes his return to the Salt City, after appearing in 29 combined regular season and playoff games with the Crunch last season.


CRUNCHABLES:

Crunch captain Dan Smith appeared in his 700th AHL game Friday night at Lake Erie… Brian McGuirk's assist Friday was his first point in 13 games… The Crunch are 11-10-2-1 when they are out shot… 15 of the Crunch's 24 wins have come when tied or trailing after two periods… The Crunch are 14-0-0-0 when they score at least four goals.

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