2008-09 RECORD: 5-1-0-0, 10 points, (3-0-0-0 home, 2-1-0-0 road), first place, North Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Wednesday, October 29 @ Grand Rapids (4-0-1-0, 9 points), second place, North Division
Saturday, November 1 @ Rockford (7-1-0-0, 14 points), first place, West Division
Sunday, November 2 @ Chicago (4-1-1-1), 10 points), second place, West Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Friday, October 24 - CRUNCH 4, Binghamton 3 OT
Saturday, October 25 - CRUNCH 6, Rochester 1
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
DEFENSE PRODUCING POINTS: Of the Crunch's 245 regular season goals last year, 44 of them were scored by defensemen, roughly 18%. So far this season, five of the Crunch’s 24 goals (21%), have come from the back end, with Clay Wilson netting four of them.
Over the last two games Crunch blueliners have racked up 13 points (4g, 9a). Leading the way has been the fourth-year pro Wilson, who has tallied 5 points (3g, 2a), during that span. Andrey Plekhanov has been an assist machine, with four in two games over the weekend for a total of seven on the season.
Off-season acquisition Jonathan Sigalet is starting to make his presence felt, with four points (1g, 3a), over his last four games, including the overtime-winning goal Friday night vs. Binghamton, his first as a member of the Crunch. He also leads the club with a +8 plus/minus rating.
HOME WINNING AND POINTS STREAKS STILL ALIVE: The Syracuse Crunch were defeated by the Hershey Bears on October 18, ending the club's American Hockey League record-setting run of 18 consecutive regular season wins dating back to last season.
Over that span, the Crunch accumulated 11 straight wins in the friendly confines of the War Memorial at Oncenter. Syracuse has won its first three home games this season, stretching the mark to 14. The AHL record for consecutive regular season wins at home is 19, owned by the Philadelphia Phantoms, who compiled that mark from October 30, 1996 – January 31, 1997.
Syracuse also has a home points streak of 20 games dating back to last season. The AHL record for home undefeated/points streak is 24, established by the Springfield Falcons from February 8, 1997 – November 14, 1997. During that 24-game span, Springfield went 18-0-6. Over the 20-game home points streak, the Crunch have compiled an 18-0-0-2 mark, equaling the amount of wins Springfield had during their streak.
CRUNCH CONTINUE DOMINANCE IN RIVALRY WITH ROCHESTER: The Syracuse Crunch and Rochester Americans have seen some intense games between one another over the past 15 years. Ever since the Crunch came to Syracuse in 1994, the rivalry was natural due to the geographic proximity of the opposing cities.
During the early years of the rivalry, Rochester held the upper hand, defeating Syracuse time and time again. It was especially painful for Crunch fans when the second-year club made it all the way to the Conference Finals in 1996, only to lose to Rochester, the eventual Calder Cup Champions that season.
That only seemed to fuel the intensity between the two organizations. Recently, it has been the Crunch holding the upper-hand, winning 13 straight games against the Amerks dating back to last season. Over that span, The Crunch have outscored Rochester 67-26 and averaged 5.15 goals per game to the Amerks' average of two.
Over the past five seasons, the Crunch hold a 24-11-1-3 advantage over Rochester, and an especially dominant 15-4-0-1 mark at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Overall, the Crunch are 66-70-15 all-time against the Americans.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS (DETROIT RED WINGS): The Crunch head to Grand Rapids, Mich. Wednesday for the first game of a season-long four-game road trip and the first of four meetings against the Griffins. The two clubs will battle it out for first place in the North Division after splitting the season series last year, 2-2-0-0. Derick Brassard and Adam Pineault each tallied three points (1g, 2a) against the Griffins last season. Crunch goaltenders were a combined 2-2-0 with a 1.76 goals-against average against Grand Rapids in 2007-08. Carl Corazzini led all players in the season series in scoring last year, notching four points (2g, 2a). Syracuse native Jimmy Howard was 2-2-0 with a 2.01 goals-against average and .922 save percentage against the Crunch last year.
ROCKFORD ICE HOGS (CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS): Continuing on their Midwest road swing, the Crunch skate into Rockford on Saturday night to take on the Ice Hogs. Last season, Rockford edged the Crunch 2-1 on November 17 and squeaked by in a shootout by that same score on December 5 @ Rockford. Martin St. Pierre led all players with two points (1g, 2a) in the season series last year.
CHICAGO WOLVES (ATLANTA THRASHERS): Syracuse makes the 70-mile trek east from Rockford to the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, for a Sunday matinee match-up with the defending Calder Cup Champion Chicago Wolves. These two clubs split the season series last year, with each team winning its respective road game. Four Crunch players tallied two points (Brassard, Dupuis, MacKenzie, Westcott), while former Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award winner as the AHL's Most Outstanding Rookie, Brett Sterling, paced Chicago with four points (4g, 0a).
Craig MacDonald has five points (2g, 3a), in his last four games… The Crunch power play is six for its last sixteen and 11-for-45 (24.4%) on the season, good for fourth overall in the AHL… With two wins this weekend, Dan LaCosta moved into tenth place all-time in games played (38) and ninth all-time in wins (19) by a Crunch goaltender… His 2.42 all-time goals-against average is also tied for first… Maksim Mayorov tallied his first two-goal game as a professional, October 25 vs. Rochester… Mayorov has six points (2g, 4a), over his last four games… The Crunch are 3-1-0-0 when allowing the first goal and 3-1-0-0 when getting out shot… Syracuse has had 12 players register multi-point games in the first six games of the season.