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Minor League Report: November 18

by Blue Jackets Staff / Columbus Blue Jackets

2008-09 RECORD: 12-3-0-1, 25 points, (6-0-0-0 home, 6-3-0-1 road), first place, North Division

Wednesday, November 19 @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (8-6-0-1, 17 points), fourth place, East Division

Friday, November 20 @ Albany (3-8-2-1, 9 points), seventh place, East Division

Saturday, November 21 vs. Albany (3-8-2-1, 9 points), seventh place, East Division

Sunday, November 22 vs. Binghamton (8-6-1-1), 18 points), third place, East Division

Wednesday, November 12 - Crunch 5, ALBANY 3

Friday, November 14 - SPRINGFIELD 2, Crunch 1(SO)

Saturday, November 15 - CRUNCH 4, Chicago 2

Sunday, November 16 - CRUNCH 4, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 3



MacKENZIE RETURNS ON A MISSION: Crunch center Derek MacKenzie suffered a setback when he learned that an off-season ankle injury would require surgery to heal. Instead of waiting for it to become a problem later in the year, MacKenzie opted to have the surgery now to get it out of the way.

Before his surgery, MacKenzie posted three points (2g, 1a), in his first two games and helped the Crunch to a 2-0-0-0 start. The surgery required MacKenzie to miss 10 games, but he picked up right where he left off when he made his return last Wednesday in Albany, posting an assist on the Crunch's second goal of the game.

After being held scoreless Friday night in Springfield, MacKenzie broke out against his former team, the Chicago Wolves, on Saturday. He recorded a season-high three points (1g, 2a), including the game-winning goal and was named the game’s first star.

The Sudbury, Ontario native was back at it again Sunday, registering two goals, his second coming with just 36 seconds left in regulation to give Syracuse a 4-3 victory over Wilkes-Barre/Scranton at Wachovia Arena. The marker was the second of back-to-back game-winners, tied for the club lead. He was again named the game's first star for his effort.

Despite playing in just six games so far this season, MacKenzie is seventh on the Crunch in scoring with nine points (5g, 4a). When MacKenzie scores at least a point, the Crunch are 5-0-0-1.

CRUNCH SETS SIGHT ON PAIR OF AHL RECORDS: The Syracuse Crunch has already set one American Hockey League record this season. On October 17, the club defeated the Binghamton Senators in a shootout, its 18th consecutive regular season victory dating back to last season to surpass the old mark of 17, held by the Philadelphia Phantoms from October 22, 2004 – November 27, 2004.

In the process of their highly publicized 15-game winning streak to close out last year's regular season, Syracuse accumulated 11 of those 15 wins on War Memorial at Oncenter Ice. After winning its first six home games of the 2008-09 campaign, the Crunch has stretched its mark to 17 consecutive regular season home victories.

The AHL record for consecutive regular season home wins is 19, held by the Philadelphia Phantoms and accumulated from October 30, 1996 – January 31, 1997. The Crunch will have a chance to match that record with two home games this weekend against Albany and Binghamton.

Another AHL record the Crunch is eyeing is the longest home undefeated/points streak. Before Syracuse went on its 11-game home points streak at the end of last season, the club had already had a home points streak of six games. That streak, coupled with the club's 6-0-0-0 start at home this season, has extended the team's current home points streak to 23 games, one shy of the record of 24, set by the Springfield Falcons from February 8, 1997 – November 14, 1997.

During the Crunch's past 23 regular season home games, the club has outscored its opponents by a 71-31 margin, gone 30-for-109 (27.52%) on the power play and 82-for-94 (87.23%) on the penalty kill. Syracuse has not lost a home regular season game in regulation since a February 18, 2007 loss to Lake Erie.



WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS (PITTSBURGH PENGUINS): The Crunch travel to Wilkes-Barre on Wednesday for the second of back-to-back meetings at Wachovia Arena against the Baby Pens and the second of eight match-ups between the two clubs this season. Syracuse defeated Wilkes-Barre/Scranton 4-3 on Sunday, on the strength of two tallies from Derek MacKenzie, his second coming with just 36 seconds remaining in regulation. Mike York tallied three assists and Craig MacDonald and John Viglilante scored the other two goals for Syracuse. Janne Pesonen and Chris Minard each tallied two points (1g, 1a), for the Penguins in the loss. With their win Sunday, the Crunch moved to 38-31-10 all-time against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

ALBANY RIVER RATS (CAROLINA HURRICANES): The Crunch makes their second trip in nine days to New York’s state capital to face-off against the Albany River Rats on Friday night for the second of eight meetings between the two clubs this season. The two teams then hook up again the following night at the War Memorial at Oncenter for the second game of a home-and-home sereies. Syracuse took the first meeting, 5-3, on November 12. After giving up two goals in the first four minutes, thirty seconds of the second period and falling behind 3-2, Sebastian Dahm came in to replace Crunch starter Dan LaCosta. Dahm turned aside all 27 shots he faced the rest of the way, as the Crunch received goals from five (5) different players and Nikita Filatov notched three assists. Stefan Chaput led the offense for Albany with two points (1g, 1a).

BINGHAMTON SENATORS (OTTAWA SENATORS): The Binghamton Senators make their second visit of the season to the War Memorial at Oncenter Sunday, and fourth of eight overall meetings between the two clubs this season. The Crunch defeated the B-Sens in the first two contests between them this season in similar come-from-behind fashion and is 2-1-0-0 against them this season. Syracuse won 3-2 in a shootout on October 17 in Binghamton and 4-3 in overtime on October 24 in Syracuse. Defenseman Clay Wilson leads the way for the Crunch with four points (3g, 1a). Ilya Zubov (3g, 1a), Ryan Shannon (1g, 3a) and Mattias Karlsson (0g, 4a), lead the B-Sens with four points each in the season series.

With three assists Sunday, Mike York now has nine points (1g, 8a), over his last six games…York is tied for fifth in the AHL in assists (13)… Clay Wilson (7g, 7a), ranks fourth and Jonathan Sigalet (5g, 6a), ranks seventh in scoring among AHL defensemen… Sigalet has registered a negative plus-minus rating in just one game this season… He currently sits second in the AHL and first among defensemen with a plus-14 mark…Syracuse is currently riding a season-high six-game points streak (5-0-0-1)… The Crunch is 7-2-0-1 when allowing the first goal…Syracuse is 6-0-0-1 when outshooting its opponent… The Crunch is 9-3-0-1 when tied or trailing after two periods… Left wing John Vigilante broke a nine-game goal-less skid with his first period tally Sunday @ Wilkes-Barre/Scranton… After not registering a point in his first four AHL games, defenseman Kris Russell has seven points (2g, 5a), over his last six contests.

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