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Minor League Report: January 21

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2008-09 RECORD: 20-18-2-2, 44 points, (11-6-0-0 home, 9-12-2-2 road), fifth place, North Division

THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Thursday, January 22 @ Rochester (15-24-0-3, 33 points), seventh place, North Division
Friday, January 23 vs. Toronto (21-16-1-5, 48 points), fourth place, North Division
Saturday, January 24 vs. Manitoba (29-13-0-2, 60 points), first place, North Division

 

LAST WEEK’S RESULT
Friday, January 16 - CRUNCH 2, Albany 1
Saturday, January 17 - Hamilton 6, CRUNCH 2
Monday, January 19 - CRUNCH 6, Hamilton 3

HOME TEAM IN CAPS

 

VETERANS KELLY AND YORK LEADING THE WAY: Crunch veteran forwards Steve Kelly and Mike York have become key members of the Syracuse Crunch not only on the scoresheet, but in the leadership department as well, both serving as alternate captains.

After tallying six points (1g, 5a) in his first 11 games, Crunch left wing Steve Kelly was sidelined after suffering a rib injury on November 8 vs. Manitoba. Kelly missed 13 games because of the injury before returning to the lineup on December 12 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

After playing in five games and being held scoreless, Kelly's rib injury flared up again, forcing him to miss another four games until he came back on January 2 at Hamilton. Since that point, Kelly has been contributing offensively with seven points (5g, 2a), over his last six games, including two two-goal efforts against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on January 10 and January 19 vs. Hamilton, both games that the Crunch won.

A native of Vancouver, British Columbia, Kelly was signed by Columbus as a free agent on July 16, 2008.

Having played in 579 NHL games over the course of his career, former all-star veteran left wing Mike York knows what it takes to stay consistent. Although not flashy, York has quietly put up 31 points (8g, 23a), in 39 games and currently leads the Crunch in scoring.

York has not gone more than two games this season without at least scoring a point. He notched three assists October 11 vs. Rochester and again on November 16 at Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, tied for his season-high in points. He has also tallied two points in a game four times and one point 18 times. He was recalled to Columbus on December 19 and returned on December 24 after appearing in one game. York is currently riding a four game point-scoring streak.

A native of Waterford, Michigan, York was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the sixth round, 136th overall, in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft. He was signed as a free agent by Columbus on July 25, 2008.

 

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
ROCHESTER AMERICANS (FLORIDA PANTHERS):
The Crunch travel west on I-90 to Rochester to take on the Americans Thursday for the sixth of 12 meetings between the two clubs this year. After taking the first three meetings against Rochester, the Crunch have dropped two straight to the Amerks on the strength of a 2-0-0 record, 0.50 goals against average and .983 save percentage from goaltender Mike Brodeur. Michal Repik (2g, 2a) and Janis Sprukts (1g, 3a) lead Rochester in scoring against the Crunch this season. For the Crunch, Andrey Plekhanov leads all scorers with five points (1g, 4a), while seven other players have tallied four points in the season series. Dan LaCosta has picked up all three wins against Rochester this year while posting a 1.88 goals against average and .928 save percentage.

TORONTO MARLIES (TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS): The Crunch welcome in the Toronto Marlies Friday night in a crucial North Division match-up for the third of eight meetings between them this season. Craig MacDonald (2g, 1a), Alexandre Picard (0g, 3a), and Aaron Rome (0g, 3a) have all tallied three points each and lead the Crunch in scoring against Toronto this year. Staffan Kronwall leads all Marlies scorers with three points (2g, 1a), against Syracuse.

MANITOBA MOOSE (VANCOUVER CANUCKS): The Manitoba Moose make their second and final visit to the War Memorial at Oncenter for the second of four overall meetings between these two clubs this year. These two teams will meet again at the MTS Centre on March 24 and 25. The Crunch took the only other meeting this season, a 6-3 decision back on November 8 on the strength of a season-high three points (2g, 1a) from Nikita Filatov. Crunch center Craig MacDonald also had two points (1g, 1a) en route to the win.

CRUNCHABLES:
Kevin Harvey's assist on Ryan Garlock's second period goal Monday was his first in the AHL and first as a member of the Crunch… The Crunch took a lead into the third period for the seventh time in 42 games this year… Steve Kelly tallied his second two-goal effort of the year tonight and now has five goals over his last three games… Kelly has seven points (5g, 2a), over his last six games… Mike Blunden’s assist on Aaron Rome’s third period goal was his first as a member of the Crunch… Dan LaCosta and Craig MacDonald both played in their first games back tonight after being assigned from Columbus... Crunch defenseman Jon Landry played in his first AHL game Monday.

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