2007-08 RECORD: 26-26-2-3, 57 points, (12-9-1-1 home, 14-17-1-2 road), fourth place, North Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Friday, February 22 vs. Houston (27-22-2-3, 59 points), seventh place, West Division
Saturday, February 23 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (30-20-0-3, 63 points), third place, East Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Tuesday, February 12 - PHILADELPHIA 4, Crunch 3 SO
Friday, February 15 - CRUNCH 4, Binghamton 1
Saturday, February 16 - CRUNCH 3, Rochester 2 OT
Monday, February 18 - Lake Erie 5, CRUNCH 0
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
MARC RIGHT ON THE MARK: With many of Syracuse's top forwards on recall to Columbus, defenseman Marc Methot is giving the Crunch the kind of offensive production that you don’t normally see from someone that plays his position.
Methot, who was sent down by Columbus last Wednesday, has scored three goals in his last three games, including the game-winner on Friday vs. Binghamton and the overtime game-winner on Saturday against Rochester.
Methot tallied two goals in Friday night's 4-1 win over Binghamton. It was the first time in his professional career he has accomplished that feat. Before his two-tally effort Friday night, Methot had not recorded a point since an October 28 loss in Toronto.
He was named the first star of the game on Friday night and again in Saturday's 3-2 overtime victory over Rochester. In 43 games for the Crunch this season, Methot has 5 goals, 1 assist and 80 penalty minutes.
A native of Ottawa, Ontario, the 22-year old Methot was drafted by Columbus in the sixth round, 168th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.
MAC ATTACK: Crunch center Derek MacKenzie has been on fire lately. In his last seven games, MacKenzie has lit the lamp six times and added three assists.
During that span, MacKenzie took over the team lead in goals from AHL All-Star Joakim Lindstrom.
Last Tuesday in Philadelphia, MacKenzie notched two goals, his second coming with one minute to go in regulation that eventually led to a shootout loss and a point in the standings for Syracuse. He earned second star honors in the game
Friday night vs. Binghamton MacKenzie tallied 2 points (1g, 1a), and was named third star of the game.
He notched another 2 points (1g, 1a) Saturday night, including the game-tying goal with 10 minutes to go in the third period. He again earned second star honors and has been named a star in three of the Crunch's last four games.
MacKenzie has appeared in all 57 games for the Crunch this season, setting career-highs in goals (22) and points (41). A native of Sudbury, Ontario, MacKenzie was signed by Columbus as a free agent on July 11, 2007.
AARON THE BARBARIAN: Crunch defenseman Aaron Rome has always been known to have a grumpy demeanor on the ice, and that part of his game has been very visible the last two contests.
On Saturday night, he battled with Rochester's Drew Larman and received a game misconduct for being the third man in when trying to help one of his teammates.
During Monday night's contest with Lake Erie, Rome took a Crunch individual season-high 31 penalty minutes, the bulk of them coming at the 14:22 mark of the third period when he received two minutes for instigating, five for fighting, a 10-minute misconduct and a game misconduct.
On top of having a mean edge to his game, Rome has also been good offensively. In 54 combined games with the Crunch and Portland this season, he has racked up 5 goals, 24 assists and 155 penalty minutes.
He has been especially good on the power play and is tied for second on the team in power play points (3g, 13a) with Derick Brassard.
A native of Nesbitt, Manitoba, Rome was acquired by Columbus from Anaheim along with Clay Wilson in exchange for Geoff Platt on November 15, 2007.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
HOUSTON AEROS (MINNESOTA WILD): The Houston Aeros make their first and only visit to the War Memorial at Oncenter this season on Friday night for the second of two meetings between these two clubs. The Crunch defeated Houston, 3-2 at the Toyota Center back on October 30. Joakim Lindstrom, Jeffrey Szwez (currently playing in Finland), and Kyle Wharton (currently playing in Elmira), all recorded goals for the Crunch in that game.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS (PITTSBURGH PENGUINS): The Crunch wrap up a five-game homestand Saturday night against their I-81 rival Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Syracuse is 0-5-0-0 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton this season. Nathan Smith leads all players in the season series in scoring with 9 points (3g, 6a). Three of Steven Goertzen's eight goals have come against the Penguins this season. Crunch defenseman Dan Smith's only goal this season came in the last meeting against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Wachovia Arena back on January 2.
The Crunch were assessed a franchise-record 166 penalty minutes last night vs. Lake Erie… The previous record was set back on November 1, 1997 when the Crunch were assessed 135 penalty minutes in a game against Rochester… Syracuse's 166 penalty minutes are also an AHL season-high for one team… Last night's game vs. Lake Erie was the first time the Crunch failed to earn at least one point in six games… Crunch right wing Adam Pineault has 6 points (3g, 3a) in his last six games.