2008-09 RECORD: 9-3-0-0, 18 points, (5-0-0-0 home, 4-3-0-0 road), second place, North Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Wednesday, November 12 @ Albany (2-6-2-1, 7 points), seventh place, East Division
Friday, November 14 @ Springfield (5-3-2-1, 13 points), third place, Atlantic Division
Saturday, November 15 vs. Chicago (9-2-1-1, 20 points), first place, West Division
Sunday, November 16 @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (7-4-0-1), 15 points), fourth place, East Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Friday, November 7 - BINGHAMTON 4, Crunch 1
Saturday, November 8 - CRUNCH 6, Manitoba 3
Sunday, November 9 - CRUNCH 2, Houston 1
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
FILATOV ON FIRE: It has been a tumultuous season so far for 18-year old Russian Rookie phenom Nikita Filatov, but the youngest player in the American Hockey League has not let adversity and sadness get in the way of producing points.
After being assigned by Columbus on October 8 and scoring two goals in his first two professional games, Filatov was recalled by the Jackets just one week later. He made his NHL debut on October 17 vs. Nashville and scored his first NHL goal the same night. After playing in four games with the big club, Filatov was assigned back to Syracuse on October 28.
Since being assigned, he has notched six points (3g, 3a), in six games. He is currently tied for third on the club in scoring with eight points (5g, 3a) in eight games. Filatov picked up a helper, his first as a professional, on the Crunch's lone goal during Friday's 4-1 loss in Binghamton.
The center exploded on Saturday night during a crucial North Division match-up with Manitoba, tallying three points (2g, 1a). His first goal of the game came just five seconds into the second stanza to give the Crunch a 2-1 lead. For his effort Saturday, he was named the game's first star as the Crunch skated away with a 6-3 victory. Filatov extended his point streak to three games, assisting on the game-tying goal with under 10 minutes to go in the third period on Sunday vs. Houston. A native of Moscow, Russia, Filatov was drafted by Columbus in the first round, sixth overall, in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.
WILL TO WIN AT THE WAR MEMORIAL: With two more home wins this past weekend, the Syracuse Crunch extended its home regular season winning streak to 16 games dating back to last year. In the process, the club also stretched its home regular season points streak dating back to last season to 21 games. The last regular season Crunch game at the War Memorial at Oncenter where the Crunch did not earn at least one point was almost eight months ago, back on February 18 when Syracuse was beaten by Lake Erie, 5-0.
The AHL record for consecutive regular season home wins is 19, held by the Philadelphia Phantoms, who recorded the mark from October 30, 1996 to January 31, 1997. The AHL record for home undefeated/points streak is 24, held by the Springfield Falcons and accumulated from February 8, 1997 to November 14, 1997.
DORSETT DELIVERING POINTS: Right wing Derek Dorsett is known for his physical play and agitating style. Proof of this comes by way of his 289 penalty minutes with the Crunch last season and the fact that before he was assigned to Syracuse on November 3, he was leading the NHL in penalty minutes with 54 in just 10 games with the Blue Jackets. Although he is keeping up that trend with 18 penalty minutes in his first three games with the Crunch, he has also added an offensive element to his game with three points (1g, 2a).
Dorsett contributed an assist on the Crunch's only goal on Friday night in Binghamton. Saturday vs. Manitoba Dorsett captured his first goal of the AHL season, the game-winner, in a 6-3 win over the Moose. He also chipped in an assist Sunday, setting up Mike York for the game-winner with just two and a half minutes left in regulation in a 2-1 nail-biter over Houston. In 64 games with the Crunch last season, Dorsett recorded 10 goals and eight assists.
A native of Kindersley, Saskatchewan, the 21-year old Dorsett was drafted by Columbus in the seventh round, 189th overall, in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
ALBANY RIVER RATS (CAROLINA HURRICANES): The Crunch make the trek east on Interstate 90 to New York's state capital to face-off against the Albany River Rats on Wednesday night for the first of eight meetings between the two clubs. The Crunch had their way with the Rats last season, going 6-2-0-0 in eight games. Adam Pineault (5g, 1a), Aaron Rome (2g, 4a) and Clay Wilson (1g, 5a) led the Crunch during last year’s season series with six points each. Dan LaCosta won his only start against Albany last year, stopping 20 of 21 shots Albany's Brandon Nolan tallied eight points (3g, 5a) and goaltender Michael Leighton was 2-4-0 with a 2.33 goals against average and .927 save percentage for the Rats. The Crunch have the advantage all-time against Albany with a 51-44-9 record.
SPRINGFIELD FALCONS (EDMONTON OILERS): Syracuse skates into Springfield on Friday night for the first of two meetings this season between these two clubs. The last time these two teams met was during the 2006-07 campaign, when the Crunch and Falcons split the season series one game a piece. Syracuse is 9-14-5 all-time against Springfield.
CHICAGO WOLVES (ATLANTA THRASHERS): The defending Calder Cup champion Chicago Wolves skate into the War Memorial at Oncenter Saturday night for the final of two regular season meetings. Chicago squeaked out a 2-1 victory at Allstate Arena back on November 2 on the strength of goals from Joey Crabb and Steve Martins. Tom Sestito netted the only Syracuse marker. The loss was goaltender Steve Mason's only blemish so far this season.
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS (PITTSBURGH PENGUINS): The Crunch head to Wilkes-Barre Sunday for a 5:05 p.m. game against the defending Eastern Conference Champion Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins. Wachovia Arena was not kind to the Crunch last year, as the team went 0-3-0-1 in four games there. Overall, Syracuse was 1-5-0-2 against the Penguins. Alexandre Picard led the Crunch in scoring with four points (1g, 3a) in the series last year. Nathan Smith carried the Penguins with 10 points (3g, 7a), while goaltender Jon Curry went 4-0-0 with a 1.20 goals against average and .955 save percentage.
Nikita Filatov (2g, 3a) and Derek Dorsett (1g, 2a), are both riding three-game point-scoring streaks… Four of the Crunch's nine wins have come when trailing after two periods… The Crunch accomplished that feat only three times all of last year… Alexandre Picard returned to the Crunch Sunday after being assigned from Columbus.