2008-09 RECORD: 22-20-3-2, 49 points, (12-8-1-0 home, 10-12-2-2 road), fifth place, North Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Wednesday, February 4 @ Hamilton (28-18-2-0, 58 points), third place, North Division
Friday, February 6 @ Lake Erie (19-22-1-5, 44 points), sixth place, North Division
Saturday, February 7 @ Toronto (23-18-2-5, 53 points), fourth place, North Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Friday, January 30 - Lake Erie 3, CRUNCH 0
Saturday, January 31 - Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4, CRUNCH 1
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
ON THE ROAD AGAIN: Before a recent string of seven out of eight games being played at home, the Syracuse Crunch had played 25 of its first 39 games away from the War Memorial at Oncenter, compiling an 18-17-2-2 record through those 39 contests.
Syracuse has not had to travel very far, either. The only road game in the last eight was a one hour, 15 minute trip west on I-90 when the Crunch defeated Rochester 4-0 back on January 22.
After just completing a four-game home stand, The Crunch head out for four tilts on the road beginning Wednesday in Hamilton. After a month of December that saw Syracuse go 0-4-1-1 in six road games, the Crunch have found recent success away from the War Memorial at Oncenter, compiling a 4-1-0-0 record in their last five games.
The Crunch hope to continue that recent success, as the team will not return home until a February 13 match-up with the Grand Rapids Griffins.
DIVISION POINTS ON THE LINE THIS WEEK: The Syracuse Crunch heads into this weekend currently four points out of the last playoff spot. The club has three important divisional games, starting Wednesday in Hamilton and then Friday and Saturday against Lake Erie and Toronto, respectively.
As a matter of fact, the Crunch's next five games are against foes from the North Division as are nine out of their next 12 contests. In 21 games against divisional opponents this season, the Crunch are 11-8-2-0 and with a 7-4-1-0 mark at home and 4-4-1-0 on the road.
Syracuse has outscored its North Division counterparts by an overall score of 64-55, with 21 of those goals for coming in six games against Rochester. They have been outscored 22-21 against division opponents on the road.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
HAMILTON BULLDOGS (MONTREAL CANADIENS): The Crunch travel to Hamilton for the second time this year for the fifth of eight match-ups against the Bulldogs this season. Each team is 2-2-0-0 in the season series, with the Crunch taking the last game, a 6-3 victory on January 19. Two days prior to that, the Crunch and Hamilton combined for a season-high 164 penalty minutes, with Syracuse taking 122 of those. Steve Kelly (4g), John Vigilante (3g, 1a) and Aaron Rome (2g, 2a), have all notched four points for the Crunch, while Hamilton’s Yannick Weber leads all players with six points (3g, 3a) in the series.
LAKE ERIE MONSTERS (COLORADO AVALANCHE): The Crunch travel to Cleveland to take on the Lake Erie Monsters for the third meeting at Quicken Loans Arena and fifth of eight overall meetings between these two teams this year. The Crunch are 1-2-1-0 against the Monsters this year and have been shut out twice by them. Petr Pohl (1g, 1a) and Trevor Frischmon (2a) lead the Crunch in scoring with two points each against Lake Erie this year. Codey Burki and Chris Mueller have three points (1g, 2a) each against the Crunch this season. The Monsters' Tyler Weiman is 2-0-0 with two shutouts in the season series.
TORONTO MARLIES (TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS): The Crunch travel to Ricoh Coliseum to take on the Marlies for the first time this year in Toronto on Saturday. The Crunch are 2-1-0-0 against the Marlies this season and trail them by four points for fourth place in the North Division with one game in hand. Aaron Rome leads the Crunch with four points (1g, 3a) in the series while Dan LaCosta has gone 2-0-0 with a 1.01 goals against average and .975 save percentage. Staffan Kronwall leads all Toronto players with four points (2g, 2a).
The Crunch penalty kill has killed off 16 of the club's last 17 penalties… Syracuse has 41 shots over its last two games…After winning three games in a row, Dan LaCosta has now dropped three in a row… The Crunch had their four-game points streak snapped Friday night… Derek MacKenzie saw his team and individual season-high eight game points streak broken Friday vs. Lake Erie…Steve Kelly's five-game point streak was ended Friday… Aaron Rome had his four-game point-scoring streak broken against the Monsters Friday night…The Crunch were shut out for the fifth time overall this season and second time by Lake Erie on Friday night.