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Down on the Farm: Ayers Named AHL Player of the Week

Monday, 02.13.2006 / 12:00 AM / News
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Down on the Farm: Ayers Named AHL Player of the Week

Feb. 13, 2006

2005-06 RECORD: 31-18-2-1, 65 points
(16-5-1-0 home, 15-13-1-1 road), third place, North Division

THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Wednesday, Feb. 15 @ Binghamton (in Utica) (20-26-2-2), 44 points, sixth place, East Division
Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (www.syracusecrunch.com)

Friday, Feb. 17 @ Toronto (27-21-4-0), 58 points, fourth place, North Division
Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (www.syracusecrunch.com)

Saturday, Feb. 18 vs. Cleveland (20-31-0-3), 44 points, sixth place, North Division
Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (www.syracusecrunch.com)

Sunday, Feb. 19 @ Binghamton (in Utica) (20-26-2-2), 44 points, sixth place, East Division

Radio: SportsRadio 620 WHEN, Internet: B2 Networks (www.syracusecrunch.com)
*Radio station subject to change.

LAST WEEK'S RESULTS
Tuesday, Feb. 7: PEORIA 1, Crunch 0
Wednesday, Feb. 8: Crunch 3, CHICAGO 1
Friday, Feb. 10: CRUNCH 2, Binghamton 0
Saturday, Feb. 12: CRUNCH 6, Rochester 0
HOME TEAM IN CAPS

SYRACUSE GOALTENDER MIKE AYERS NAMED CCM VECTOR/AHL PLAYER OF THE WEEK : The American Hockey League announced today that Syracuse Crunch goaltender Mike Ayers has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending Feb. 12, 2006. In three games last week, all victories, Ayers stopped 102 of the 103 shots he faced, good for a 0.33 goals-against average, a .990 save percentage and two shutouts.

AYERS RECORDS FIRST BACK-TO-BACK SHUTOUTS OF SEASON: Goaltender Mike Ayers continued his strong play this past week, appearing in three of Syracuse’s four games and stopping 102 of 103 shots faced. He recorded back-to-back shutouts on Friday against Binghamton and Saturday against Rochester, Syracuse’s first consecutive shutouts this season. His two shutouts last week puts him fifth on the Crunch’s all-time shutouts list with three. In 12 games with Syracuse this season, Ayers has posted a 8-3-0 record, a 2.16 goals against average and .932 save percentage. A native of Hingham, Massachusetts, Ayers signed an AHL contract with Syracuse Nov. 17, 2005.

HARTIGAN EXTENDS STREAK:
Center Mark Hartigan has recorded Syracuse’s game-winning goal in the Crunch’s last three wins and five out of their last six wins, moving him into sole possession of first place on the Crunch’s all-time game-winning goals list with 16. Hartigan has recorded a point in 21 of his last 22 games (20g, 21a). This season he has set franchise marks for longest point streak (18 games), set Dec.14, 2005 – Feb. 4, 2006 and longest assist streak (12 games), set Dec. 18, 2005 – Jan.28, 2006. He has two hat tricks on the season.

Hartigan continues to climb the Crunch’s all-time leaders list, moving into fourth with 161 points all-time, fourth with 78 goals, fourth with 31 power play goals and eighth with 83 assists. He is currently ranked sixth among AHL scorers and tenth in the AHL in goals. Through 38 games this season, Hartigan has a team high 56 points (24g, 32a). In 14 games with Columbus this season, Hartigan has recorded 1 goal and 12 penalty minutes. A native of Fort St. John, British Columbia, Hartigan was re-signed as a free agent by Columbus Aug. 22, 2005.

CRUNCH ANNOUNCE ROSTER MOVES: The Syracuse Crunch announced today that the Columbus Blue Jackets have reassigned left wing Joakim Lindstrom, goaltender Andrew Penner and center Ben Simon to Syracuse. The Blue Jackets also reassigned right wing Tim Konsorada to Dayton (ECHL). The Syracuse Crunch announced that they have reassigned right wing Jeff Szwez to Dayton (ECHL) and released goaltender Derek Gustafson from his professional try-out contract.

Lindstrom, 22, made his NHL debut with Columbus on Feb. 8, 2006 vs. Los Angeles. He appeared in three games with the Blue Jackets without recording a point. In 36 games with Syracuse this season, Lindstrom has tallied 9 goals, 17 assists and 24 penalty minutes. A native of Skelleftea, Sweden, Lindstrom signed a NHL contract with Columbus, Feb. 2, 2006.

Penner, 23, has served as back-up in Columbus on four separate occasions. In 25 games with Syracuse this season, Penner has posted a 13-7-1 record, a 3.09 goals against average and .907 save percentage. A native of Scarborough, Ontario, Penner was signed as a free agent by Columbus on Sept. 17, 2001.

Simon, 27, has appeared in 11 games with Columbus, recording four penalty minutes. In 40 games with Syracuse, Simon has registered 11 goals, 11 assists and 49 penalty minutes. A native of Shaker Heights, Ontario, Simon signed an NHL contract with Columbus, Aug. 11, 2005.

Konsorada, 21, has appeared in 17 games with Syracuse this season, recording three goals, two assists and seven penalty minutes. In 29 games with Dayton, Konsorada has tallied 9 goals, 19 assists and 4 penalty minutes. A native of Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Konsorada was selected by Columbus in the sixth round, 168th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.

Szwez, 24, has appeared in 13 games with Syracuse this season, recording 3 goals, 3 assists and 18 penalty minutes. In 35 games with Dayton, Szwez has recorded 17 goals, 16 assists and 66 penalty minutes. A native of Etobicoke, Ontario, Szwez, signed an AHL contract with Syracuse this off-season.

Gustafson, 26, was recalled by Syracuse on Feb. 10 and served as back-up to Mike Ayers for both of Syracuse’s games this weekend. A native of Gresham, Oregon, Gustafson, has appeared in 27 games with Adirondack (UHL) this season, posting a 18-5-3 record, a 2.88 goals against average and .901 save percentage.

THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
BINGHAMTON (OTTAWA SENATORS): Syracuse plays Binghamton on Wednesday, Feb. 15 in Utica and Sunday, Feb. 19 for the fifth and sixth of eight regular season games. The series is tied 2-2-0 after Syracuse shutout Binghamton 2-0 on Feb. 10 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Center Mark Hartigan (1g, 4a) leads the Crunch in head-to-head scoring with five points. Senators center Charlie Stephens (2g, 3a) leads the Senators in head-to-head scoring with five points. Goaltender Mike Ayers has a 2-1-0 record against Binghamton. Binghamton goaltender Billy Thompson has a 1-2-0 record.

TORONTO (TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS): Syracuse travels to Toronto on Friday, Feb.17 for the fifth of eight regular season games against the Marlies. The series is tied 2-2-0 after Toronto defeated Syracuse 4-1 on Dec. 10 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Marlies center John Pohl (4g, 2a) leads all players in head-to-head scoring with six points. Center Mark Hartigan (1g, 4a) leads all Crunch players in head-to-head scoring. Goaltender Andrew Penner (1-1-0) and Martin Prusek (1-1-0) have split time in net for Syracuse. Toronto goaltender Jean-Sebastien Aubin has a 2-1-0 record against Syracuse. Lifetime, the Crunch are 2-2-0 against the Marlies.

CLEVELAND (SAN JOSE SHARKS): Syracuse returns home on Saturday, Feb. 18 to host Cleveland for the sixth and final regular season game against the Barons. Syracuse leads the series 4-1-0 after defeating Cleveland 4-3 on Feb. 3 at Quicken Loans Arena. Left wing Joakim Lindstrom (4g, 2a) leads the Crunch in head-to-head scoring with six points. Center Josh Hennessy (1g, 5a) leads the Barons in head-to-head scoring with six points. Goaltender Martin Prusek has a 2-0-0 record for Syracuse. Cleveland goaltenders Jamie Holden (1-1-0) and Nolan Schaefer (0-2-0) have split time in net. Lifetime, the Crunch are 23-13-1 against the Barons.

CRUNCHABLES: This weekend is the first time Syracuse has shutout opponents in back-to-back games this season… Syracuse’s 65 points this season is the most by a Crunch team in franchise history through 52 games… After a five-game drought, defenseman Andy Delmore tallied points in back-to-back games this weekend… On Saturday, February 11, Syracuse and Rochester combined for 143 penalty minutes, a new season high. Rochester’s 87 penalty minutes on Saturday night is also a new season high by an opponent… Defenseman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen’s 21 penalty minutes on Saturday against Rochester is a new season high for Syracuse… Left wing Darcy Verot tallied his first goal in a Crunch uniform on Friday night against Binghamton… Defenseman Jeff MacMillan’s next game with be his 350th career AHL game.

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