2007-08 RECORD: 7-12-1-0, 15 points, (4-5-0-0 home, 3-7-1-0 road), fifth place, North Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Friday, November 30 vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (9-10-0-0, 18 points), fifth place, East Division
Saturday, December 1 vs. Albany (10-8-0-2, 22 points), second place, East Division
Sunday, December 2 @ Lake Erie (5-11-0-2, 12 points), seventh place, North Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Friday, November 23 - CRUNCH 6, Manitoba 4
Saturday, November 24 - TORONTO 4, Crunch 3 OT
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
CRUNCH TAKE THREE OF FOUR POSSIBLE POINTS: The Syracuse Crunch started their weekend right as they showed no signs of a Thanksgiving hangover by feasting on the Manitoba Moose, 6-4 on Friday night.
After the previous two Friday night home games against Toronto and Chicago where the Crunch built a 2-0 lead, it was Manitoba who potted the first two goals of the game with both tallies coming from left wing Jason Jaffray at 1:37 and 8:18, respectively. Before the period was over, Syracuse struck with a 5-on-3 power play goal from Andrei Plekhanov to make it 2-1.
The Crunch pulled even at 10:28 of the second as Joakim Lindstrom tallied the first of his two goals, again on a 5-on-3 advantage. Aaron Rome scored his third of the season just 7:20 later to give the Crunch their first lead, 3-2. Adam Pineault made it 4-2 just 3:37 into the third period when his shot hit off goaltender Cory Schneider, bounced straight up in the air and found its way into the back of the net.
Manitoba battled back to tie it 4-4 on goals from Colby Genoway and Jason Jaffray at 6:17 and 7:37, but Joakim Lindstrom scored the game-winner and his second of the contest by jamming home a rebound past Schneider at 16:06. Andrew Murray added the empty-netter to seal the 6-4 win.
Saturday the Crunch traveled to Toronto for their third meeting of the season with the Marlies. Toronto took control of the action early on. The Marlies opened the scoring when Jeremy Williams beat Tomas Popperle at 10:48. The goal seemed to kick-start the physical play, when on the ensuing face-off Jeffrey Szwez squared off with Nathan Perrot in a heavyweight bout. Only one second later, feisty Crunch rookie Derek Dorsett fought Toronto's Darryl Boyce, getting the best of him in the battle.
Both goaltenders were good in a scoreless second period. Toronto starter Justin Pogge denied Derek MacKenzie on the doorstep on a Crunch 5-on-3 advantage. Popperle was also strong in the cage for the Crunch, as they out-shot Toronto 8-6 in the frame.
At the 5:35 mark, Joakim Lindstrom found a streaking Derek MacKenzie who beat Pogge to knot the score, 1-1. Toronto answered right back when Chris Harrington scored a power play goal on a slapper from the top of the left circle just 2:04 later. Syracuse tied it again, this time on a 4-on-3 power play when Clay Wilson took a Lindstrom pass from his skate blade up to his stick and sent a wicked backhand shot past Pogge to make it 2-2.
In the third period Trevor Frischmon found an open Lindstrom in the slot who wristed one past Pogge to give the Crunch their first lead of the game at 13:54. The Crunch could not hold the lead as Toronto had an answer for them less than two minutes later. Robbie Earl won a battle in the corner and centered a pass for Alex Foster who beat Popperle to tie the game 3-3.
Overtime was fast and furious as both teams traded chances. The winning tally came off a face-off when the puck found its way on to the stick of Derrick Walser, who wound up at the top of the right circle and sent a bullet past Popperle for the game-winning goal and a 4-3 overtime win.
LINDSTROM HAS HUGE WEEKEND: Joakim Lindstrom broke out of his scoring slump in a big way this weekend as he piled up 7 points (3g, 4a) in two games.
The Swede sensation started his scoring binge Friday night vs. Manitoba. Lindstrom had 4 points (2g, 2a) on Friday, including the game-winner with just under four minutes remaining. He assisted on Andrei Plekhanov's first period 5-on-3 power play goal, scored his own 5-on-3 power play goal at 10:28 of the second, assisted on Aaron Rome’s go-ahead goal at 17:48 of the second and capped things off with the game-winner by jamming home a rebound past Manitoba starter Cory Schneider at 16:06 of the third.
Saturday night Lindstrom was excellent again. He racked up another three points (1g, 2a) to give him a total of seven for the weekend. He found Derek MacKenzie streaking down the middle at 5:35 of the third to tie the game 1-1. He then found Clay Wilson with a pass in the middle of the ice who backhanded a shot past Pogge to tie the game 2-2. Lindstrom added a goal by sending a blazing wrister into the back of the net to give the Crunch a 3-2 lead at 15:40.
With a seven point weekend, Lindstrom catapulted himself into seventh place in the American Hockey League in scoring with 22 points (10g, 12a) in 20 games. He also took over the team lead in scoring from injured rookie center Derick Brassard who has 20 points (5g, 15a) in 16 games. For his effort, Lindstrom was awarded the Rbk/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending November 25, 2007. He will be given an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Crunch home game.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
WILKES-BARRE/SCRANTON PENGUINS (PITTSBURGH PENGUINS): The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins make their first visit to the War Memorial at Oncenter on Friday night. It is the second of eight meetings between these two teams. The Crunch are 0-1-0-0 against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton as the Baby Pens took the first meeting back on October 6 at Wachovia Arena. Penguins center Tyler Kennedy notched two goals in the 3-2 win.
ALBANY RIVER RATS (CAROLINA HURRICANES): The Crunch welcome the Albany River Rats on Saturday night for their first trip to Syracuse this season. These two teams last met back on October 24. Albany squeaked out a 3-2 victory on the strength of two goals from Jamie Johnson. Crunch center Derek MacKenzie had 2 points (1g, 1a) in that contest. River Rats goaltender Michael Leighton had 30 saves in the victory.
LAKE ERIE MONSTERS (COLORADO AVALANCHE): The Crunch travel to Lake Erie for the first time ever as they take on the Lake Erie Monsters on Sunday. This will be the second of eight meetings between these two teams. The Monsters took the only other meeting of the season back on October 20, 3-2. Cody McLeod had two goals for Lake Erie and Tyler Weiman stopped 40 shots in the victory. Joakim Lindstrom had 2 assists in the loss.
With a seven point weekend, Joakim Lindstrom catapulted himself into seventh place in the AHL in scoring…The Crunch power play continued flexing its muscle, going 4-for-13 (30.8%) this weekend and is 26-for 118 (22.0%) overall, good for fourth in the AHL…Clay Wilson’s goal in the third period Saturday was his fourth of the season and first as a member of the Crunch…Aaron Rome's goal Friday was his third of the season and first as a member of the Crunch…Left wing Tom Sestito came back Friday night after missing the previous three games with a hand injury…The Crunch took three out of a possible four points against the division's first and second place teams this weekend… The Crunch earned points in back-to-back games for the first time all season with a win on Friday and an overtime loss on Saturday.