Down On The Farm: The Weekly Report from Syracuse
D Aaron Johnson Third Among AHL Defensemen in Scoring
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Thursday, Nov. 24 @ Binghamton (5-9-1-1), 12 points, sixth place, East Division
Friday, Nov. 25 vs. Bridgeport (8-9-1-0), 17 points, third place, East Division
Saturday, Nov. 26 vs. Toronto (8-9-0-0), 16 points, tied-fourth place, North Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Thursday, Nov. 17: Crunch 4, CELVELAND 3 OT
Friday, Nov. 18: ROCHESTER 5, Crunch 2
Saturday, Nov. 19: CRUNCH 2, Rochester 0
JOHNNY B. GOOD: Defenseman Aaron Johnson’s resurgence continued last week recording a point in all three Crunch games and helping lead the Crunch to victories over division rivals Cleveland and Rochester on Thursday and Saturday night. He served as an alternate captain with Mark Hartigan and Ben Simon on recall to Columbus. Johnson leads the Crunch in assists with 12 and is second on the club in scoring with 15 points (3g, 12a). His 15 points are tied for third most among AHL defenseman. He enters this week on a three-game point streak after recording an assist in each game last week. Johnson has recorded a point in 11 of the Crunch’s 16 games this season, including four multiple point games. He has not gone more than one game without registering a point. His 12 assists this season through 16 games are just 5 shy of his career best 17 recorded in 77 games last season. Johnson has appeared in 142 career AHL games with Syracuse, recording 15 goals, 44 assists and 265 penalty minutes. In 29 career NHL games with the Columbus Blue Jackets, Johnson has eight points (2g, 6a) and 32 penalty minutes. A native of Port Hawkesbury, NS, Johnson was drafted by the Blue Jackets in the third round, 85th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
LECLAIRE POSTS SHUTOUT IN 100TH AHL GAME: Goaltender Pascal Leclaire won both his starts last week, his first games since returning from a hip injury, including a 36-save shutout of Rochester on Saturday night (his 100th career Syracuse game). The shutout was the fifth of Leclaire’s career and moved him on sole possession of third on the Crunch’s all-time list behind Karl Goehring (9) and J.F. Labbe (11). Leclaire has appeared in six games this season with a 2-3-0 record, a 2.99 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. A native of Repentigny, Quebec, Columbus selected Leclaire in the first round, 8th overall, in the 2001 Entry Draft.
HARTIGAN RETURNED TO SYRACUSE: The Syracuse Crunch announced today that the Columbus Blue Jackets have reassigned center Mark Hartigan to Syracuse. Hartigan, 28, has appeared in eight games with Columbus this season, recording one goal and six penalty minutes. In 8 games with Syracuse this season, Hartigan has tallied 4 goals, 5 assists and 14 penalty minutes. A native of Fort. St. John, British Columbia, Hartigan was signed a as a free agent by Columbus August 22, 2005.
ROSTER IN FLUX: With the reassignment of Mark Flood to Dayton on Sunday morning the Crunch have had 42 transactions this season – compared to one this time last season. The Crunch finished the entire 2004-05 season with just 57 transactions.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
BINGHAMTON (OTTAWA SENATORS): Syracuse travels to Binghamton for the first of eight regular season games on Thursday, November 24 at Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena. Left wing Denis Hamel leads the Senators with 20 points (10g, 10a). Goaltender Billy Thompson has appeared between the pipes for Binghamton 10 times this season, posting a 1-7-0 record, a 4.32 goals against average and a .872 save percentage. Lifetime, the Crunch are 8-14-2 against the Senators.
BRIDGEPORT (NEW YORK ISLANDERS): The Crunch host Bridgeport on Friday, November 25 at the War Memorial at Oncenter for the first of two regular season meetings. Right wing Rob Collins leads the Sound Tigers with 21 points (6g, 15a). Former Crunch player Kevin Colley has tallied eight points (5g, 3a) in 17 games. Goaltender Chris Madden has appeared in 11 games with Bridgeport, posting a 6-3-0 record, 2.86 goals against average and .909 save percentage. Lifetime, the Crunch are 0-2-2 against the Sound Tigers.
TORONTO (TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS): On Saturday, November 26 Syracuse hosts Toronto for the third of eight regular season meetings. The series is tied at one game a piece after Syracuse defeated Toronto 4-3 in their last meeting on October 15 in Syracuse. Center Mark Hartigan (1g, 3a) and Peter Sarno (2g, 2a) lead all Crunch players with four points in head-to-head scoring. Defenseman Staffan Kronwall leads all Marlies players in head-to-head scoring with four points (1g, 3a). Goaltenders Jean-Sebastien Aubin (29 saves in the win) and Jean-Francois Racine (36 saves in the loss) have split time in net for Toronto. Martin Prusek appeared in net for Syracuse in both games, posting a 1-1-0 record and 62 saves. Lifetime, the Crunch are 1-1-0 against the Marlies.
CRUNCHABLES: With the addition of Karl Goehring over the weekend the San Antonio Rampage roster now boosts a league-high four former Crunch players (Goehring, Tim Jackman, Chris McAllister and Martin Sonnenberg)… After killing off all eight Rochester power play opportunities Saturday night, the Crunch’s penalty killing percentage went above 80% (80.15%) for the first time since opening night (87.50%)… Saturday’s sellout for the Crunch was their first of the season and first since April 9, 2005. (vs. Rochester)… Rookie center Geoff Platt continues to lead the Crunch with seven power play goals and 12 power play points… Huh? Stat of the Week: The Crunch have a 1-3-0-0 record when defenseman Aaron Johnson records two or more points in a game... Left wing Alexandre Picard made his National Hockey League debut Friday night in Columbus’ 6-3 loss in Dallas… Center Ben Simon made his Blue Jackets debut in that same game.