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Minor League Report: February 5

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

Syracuse Crunch

2007-08 RECORD: 22-25-2-2, 48 points, (10-8-1-1 home, 12-17-1-1 road), third place, North Division


Wednesday, February 6 @ Rochester (13-31-3-4, 33 points), seventh place, North Division

Saturday, February 9 @ Albany (Glens Falls) (27-21-0-2, 57 points), fourth place, East Division



Friday, February 1 - ALBANY 5, Crunch 2

Saturday, February 2 - San Antonio 4, Crunch 3 SO



Crunch goaltender Dan LaCosta knows that you don't always get great opportunities in life. That is why he is trying to take full advantage of his time in Syracuse for as long as that may be.

The Syracuse goaltending core has been ravaged by injuries this season. The team's expected starter, Tomas Popperle, went down with a knee injury @ Lake Erie back on December 12 that likely put an end to his season. Just two games before that, backup Adam Munro left the game in Grand Rapids with a groin injury. LaCosta, next in line on the Crunch goaltending depth chart, would have surely been called up if not for a freak accident just two weeks prior.

At about 4:15 a.m. on November 29, the Elmira Jackals were on their way home from a game in Cincinnati. The bus rammed into the back of a tractor trailer and went down an embankment. LaCosta suffered an ankle injury that sidelined him for over a month. Instead of getting another shot in the AHL, LaCosta was forced to sit and watch from the stands.

LaCosta got a second chance when Munro went down with another groin injury and he was called up on January 31. He started the game on Saturday vs. San Antonio and played well, stopping 41 of 44 shots and turning aside 5 of 7 chances in the shootout loss.


The Syracuse Crunch battled through 44 games of the season. Only three of those 44 games went into overtime. The Crunch defeated the Hamilton Bulldogs in a shootout at Copps Coliseum on November 2, lost 4-3 in overtime @ Toronto on November 24 and lost to Rockford in a shootout on December 5.

Lately, Syracuse has been working overtime. Three of the Crunch's last seven games have gone to the extra session, including back-to-back games against Lake Erie on January 19 and 22.

The Crunch are 1-2 in overtime and 1-2 in shootouts this season.


Syracuse Crunch right wing Mark Rycroft experienced a homecoming, sort of, when he played his first home game in a Crunch uniform on Saturday against San Antonio.

Rycroft's father, Al Rycroft, played in Syracuse on two separate occasions back in the 70’s. In 1972-73, Rycroft skated for the Syracuse Blazers, then of the Eastern Hockey League and posted 100 points (50g, 50a), in just 48 games. That same year he put up 16 points (5g, 11a) in 9 playoff games.

In 1974-75, he played in 75 games for the Syracuse Eagles, Syracuse's second American Hockey League franchise. He put up 56 points (25g, 31a) that season.

Mark Rycroft has appeared in six games for the Crunch this season, posting two penalty minutes. He has also appeared in 30 games for Lake Erie this season, tallying 1 goal, 6 assists and 17 penalty minutes. A native of Penticton, British Columbia, Rycroft was acquired by Columbus from Colorado on January 22 in exchange for defenseman Darcy Campbell and right wing Philippe Dupuis.



ROCHESTER AMERICANS (BUFFALO SABRES/FLORIDA PANTHERS): The Crunch travel to Rochester on Wednesday for the sixth of twelve meetings between these two clubs this season. The Crunch are 3-2-0-0 against the Americans this season and took the last meeting, a 4-0 shutout win at the Blue Cross arena back on December 30. Goaltender Craig Kowalski, now back with Gwinnett (ECHL), posted a 19-save shutout. Adam Pineault leads all current players in the season series in scoring with 6 points (1g, 5a).

ALBANY RIVER RATS (CAROLINA HURRICANES): The Crunch travel to Glens Falls, NY on Saturday to take on the Albany River Rats at the Glens Falls Civic Center for the seventh of eight meetings between these two teams this year. The Crunch are 4-2-0-0 against the Rats this season. Albany's Brandon Nolan leads all players in the season series in scoring with 7 points (3g, 4a).


Up until Saturday's shootout loss vs. San Antonio, the Crunch had scored the first goal in seven consecutive games… Derek Dorsett's first period marker Friday broke and 18-game pointless streak…His last point came on a goal during a 4-3 loss @ Toronto on December 19… The Crunch allowed a season-high 21 shots in the first period Saturday night… After playing just three overtime games in the first 44, the Crunch have played three in the last seven.

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