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Minor League Report: March 18

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

Syracuse Crunch

2007-08 RECORD: 34-26-2-6, 76 points, (18-9-1-3 home, 16-17-1-3 road), third place, North Division

 

THIS WEEK'S GAMES

Wednesday, March 19 vs. Hamilton (31-28-2-5, 69 points), fourth place, North Division

Saturday, March 22 vs. Grand Rapids (27-33-2-5, 61 points), fifth place, North Division

 

LAST WEEK'S RESULT

Friday, March 14 - CRUNCH 3, Rochester 0

Sunday, March 16 - CRUNCH 4, Binghamton 3 OT

HOME TEAM IN CAPS

 

CLAY LEADING THE WAY: Earlier this season, Clay Wilson was named to the AHL PlanetUSA All-Star team. He has been at the top of his game over the last few weeks and is showing why he was selected to represent the Crunch at the AHL's annual showcase of talent.

In two games this past week, Wilson led the way with five points (2g, 3a), including a two-goal, one assist effort Friday night vs. Rochester. With his three points, Wilson tied a personal season-high. He recorded three assists on December 1 vs. Albany and again on March 2 @ Hamilton.

Over his last seven games, Wilson has recorded 11 points (3g, 8a), more than any other Crunch player over that span. For the season, Wilson has 11 goals, 31 assists and 33 penalty minutes in 65 combined games with Portland and Syracuse.

For his outstanding play, Wilson was named the Rbk/AHL Player of the Week for the week ending March 16, 2008. A native of Sturgeon Lake, Minnesota, the 24-year old Wilson was acquired by Columbus, along with Aaron Rome from Anaheim in exchange for Geoff Platt on November 15, 2007.

 

LaCOSTA IS LIGHTS OUT: No matter who Crunch head coach Ross Yates decides to put in between the pipes these days, it seems like he can't go wrong. Lately, second-year pro Dan LaCosta has been getting the nod.

LaCosta started both games for the Crunch this past weekend, stopping a combined 61 of 64 shots and posted his first shutout of the season Friday night vs. Rochester.

LaCosta has appeared in 12 games for the Crunch this season, going 7-2-0-3 with a 2.16 goals-against average and .930 save percentage.

A native of Labrador City, Newfoundland, LaCosta was drafted by Columbus in the third round, 93rd overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

As a result of his recent play, LaCosta was recalled by the Columbus Blue Jackets yesterday.

LaCosta, 21, has appeared in 12 games for the Crunch this season, going 7-2-0-3 with a 2.16 goals-against average and .930 save percentage. He has also appeared in 14 games with Elmira this season, going 7-4-1 with a 2.15 goals-against average and .932 save percentage.

A native of Labrador City, Newfoundland, LaCosta was drafted by Columbus in the third round, 93rd overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft.

 

KONOPKA FINDS POT 'O' GOLD: On the day before St. Patrick's Day, decked out in Syracuse's annual green and gold jerseys, Crunch captain Zenon Konopka found his own pot of gold as he recorded a hat trick in Sunday's overtime win over Binghamton. Konopka's third tally of the afternoon was the overtime-winner.

Konopka's goal kept the momentum going for Syracuse, the AHL's hottest team. The win gave the Crunch 76 points, further solidifying third place in the North Division and a guaranteed playoff spot.

Konopka, 27, has appeared in 54 games for the Crunch this season, tallying 21 goals, 24 assists and 154 penalty minutes.

A native of Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Konopka was acquired by Columbus from Anaheim, along with Curtis Glencross and a conditional 2007 seventh round draft pick (2007 or 2008), in exchange for Mark Hartigan, Joe Motzko and a 2007 fourth round draft pick on January 26, 2007.

 

THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS:

HAMILTON BULLDOGS (MONTREAL CANADIENS): The Hamilton Bulldogs come to town on Wednesday for a crucial North Division match-up. This will be the seventh of eight meetings between these two teams. The Crunch are 5-1-0-0 against the Bulldogs and have won the last two games against them. Joakim Lindstrom, currently on recall to Columbus, has 11 points (3g, 8a), and leads all scorers in the season series. Crunch goaltender Adam Munro is 2-0-0-0 with a 0.83 goals-against average and .964 save percentage against Hamilton this year.

GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS (DETROIT RED WINGS): The Grand Rapids Griffins come to Syracuse on Saturday night for the fourth and final meeting of the season between these two clubs. The Crunch are 1-2-0-0 against the Griffins this season. Grand Rapids' Carl Corazzini leads all players in the season series in scoring with four points (2g, 2a). Syracuse native and Griffins goaltender Jimmy Howard is 2-1 with a 1.00 goals-against average and .963 save percentage against the Crunch this year. Adam Pineault leads Syracuse with 2 points (1g, 1a) in 3 games vs. Grand Rapids this season.

 

CRUNCHABLES:
The Crunch are currently 2-0 on their season-high nine-game homestand… The Crunch are 12-1-0-5 in their last 18 games… The Crunch extended their point streak to 11 games with Sunday's win over Binghamton… Zenon Konopka's hat trick Sunday was the second three-goal effort by a Crunch player this season (Gilbert Brule 1/4/08 @ Albany)... Dan LaCosta went 2-0-0-0 and stopped 61 of 64 shots this past weekend for the Crunch… LaCosta's shutout Friday vs. Rochester was his first of the season and fifth by a Crunch goaltender this season… The Crunch improved to 6-1-0-0 on Sunday's.

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