2007-08 RECORD: 20-22-2-1, 43 points, (10-8-1-0 home, 10-14-1-1 road), fourth place, North Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Tuesday, January 22 @ Lake Erie (13-21-1-5, 32 points), sixth place, North Division
Thursday, January 24 @ Manitoba (21-18-2-1, 45 points), second place, North Division
Friday, January 25 @ Manitoba (21-18-2-1, 45 points), second place, North Division
Saturday, January 26 @ Hamilton (18-17-1-5, 42 points), fifth place, North Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Wednesday, January 16 - CRUNCH 5, Philadelphia 3
Friday, January 18 - BINGHAMTON 6, Crunch 3
Saturday, January 19 - Lake Erie 3, CRUNCH 2 OT
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
CRUNCH HIT THE ROAD:
The Syracuse Crunch will hit the road this week, as they embark on a five-game road trip that starts January 22 @ Lake Erie and concludes Friday, February 1 in Albany. This trip is tied for the second longest of the season. Syracuse went on a seven-game road trip from December 2 to 14 that was arguably a turning point in the season.
Before that trip, the Crunch had struggled, going just 8-13-1-0 through the first 22 games of the season. The Crunch have gone 12-9-1-1 since that point, including a 4-2-0-1 record on that seven-game trip where they picked up 9 out of a possible 14 points.
The Crunch will face some key North Division opponents this week. The fourth place Crunch trail second place Manitoba by just two points, but the Moose have three games in hand. Thursday and Friday's match-ups in Winnipeg are crucial four-point swing games.
Saturday's game @ Hamilton has the potential to loom even larger, as the Crunch and Bulldogs are both duking it out with Grand Rapids for third place, a very important spot with possible playoff implications.
Currently, the Crunch sit in fourth place, just behind Grand Rapids, whose .489 winning percentage is barely ahead of Syracuse's .478. Both teams have 43 points and the Griffins have one game in hand.
LINDSTROM AND WILSON HEADED TO BINGHAMTON:
The Syracuse Crunch will be well-represented at this weekend's AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok in Binghamton, New York.
Swedish sensation Joakim Lindstrom and American born Clay Wilson will both represent Syracuse and play for the PlanetUSA team. It is the first time that either of these players has been selected for the AHL All-Star team.
Lindstrom, 24, has appeared in 32 games for the Crunch this season and leads the team in scoring with 43 points (17g, 26a). He has also appeared in 11 games for Columbus this season, tallying 6 points (2g, 4a).
Lindstrom was also voted into the starting lineup and becomes the fourth player in team history to do so (Mark Wotton – Canadian, 1998), (Chris O'Sullivan – PlanetUSA, 2000), (Mike Gaul – Canadian, 2001).
Wilson, 24, has appeared in 42 games for the Crunch and Portland this season, racking up 6 goals, 21 assists and 20 penalty minutes. Wilson is currently tied for fourth on the Crunch in scoring and tied for seventh in the AHL in scoring among defenseman.
A native of Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota, Wilson was acquired by Columbus from Anaheim along with defenseman Aaron Rome in exchange for center Geoff Platt on November 15, 2007.
'K' IS FOR KAPTAIN:
Crunch captain Zenon Konopka has been playing like a man on a mission, especially lately.
Konopka registered 5 points (4g, 1a), in three games last week, including a valiant two-goal effort on Friday night @ Binghamton. Konopka's two tallies in a three minute span late in the second period tied the game 3-3. He was named the game's second star.
Over the last eight games, Konopka has 9 points (5g, 4a).
The War Memorial has a reputation around the AHL as being a tough building for opponents to play in. The Crunch are starting to live up to that reputation by going 6-3-1-0 in their last 10 home games. During that span, the Crunch have outscored their opponents 31-22.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
LAKE ERIE MONSTERS (COLORADO AVALANCHE): Syracuse travels to Cleveland to take on the Lake Erie Monsters on Tuesday for the fifth of eight meetings between these two clubs. The Crunch are 2-1-1-0 against the Monsters this season. Lake Erie took the last meeting, a 3-2 overtime win on January 19. Derek MacKenzie (4g, 2a) and Joakim Lindstrom (2g, 4a), lead all players in the season series in scoring.
MANITOBA MOOSE (VANCOUVER CANUCKS): The Crunch travel to Winnipeg on Thursday night for the first of a two-game set with the Moose. These will be the third and fourth of four meetings with Manitoba this year. The Crunch have won both games against the Moose this season, a 6-4 win on November 23 and a 3-2 decision on December 29. Joakim Lindstrom leads all players in the season series in scoring with 4 points (2g, 2a).
HAMILTON BULLDOGS (MONTREAL CANADIENS): The Crunch continue their road trip Saturday in Hamilton against the Bulldogs for the fifth of eight meetings. The Crunch are 3-1-0-0 against Hamilton this year, but dropped the last meeting, 5-2 at Copps Coliseum on January 11. Joakim Lindstrom leads all players in the season series in scoring with 8 points (2g, 6a).
Adam Pineault played in his 100th career American Hockey League game in Wednesday's 5-3 win over Philadelphia… Pineault's shorthanded goal Wednesday night was his fourth of the season, tying him for third overall in the AHL… Syracuse has tallied 12 short handed goals on the year and are tied for second overall in that category… The Crunch power play was 4-for-13 (30.8%) last week and is 52-for-249 (20.9%) on the season, good for third overall in the AHL… Saturday's overtime loss vs. Lake Erie was only the fourth extra-session game the Crunch have played all year and first since a December 5 shootout loss @ Rockford… Saturday's game featured a combined six former first-round NHL draft picks (Syracuse – Gilbert Brule, Adam Munro, Alexandre Picard), (Lake Erie – Jeff Friesen, Jeff Jillson, Chris Stewart)… The Crunch hit the road this week to start a five-game road trip… When Syracuse comes back from this trip, they will play 21 of their final 30 games at the War Memorial at Oncenter.