Down on the Farm: Pushor's Return Gives Crunch Offense a Boost
2006-07 RECORD: 16-24-1-5, 38 points (8-11-1-2 home, 8-13-0-3 road), sixth place, North Division
THIS WEEK'S GAMES
Friday, February 2 vs. Springfield (22-25-0-1), 45 points, seventh place, Atlantic Division
Saturday, February 3 vs. Rochester (32-12-1-0), 65 points, first place, North Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Wednesday, January 24 - ALBANY 4, Crunch 2
Friday, January 26 - CRUNCH 1, Manitoba 0 (OT)
Saturday, January 27 - CRUNCH 4, San Antonio 3
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
PUSHOR CELEBRATES RETURN WITH BACK-TO-BACK GAME-WINNERS: Defenseman Jamie Pushor returned to action this weekend after missing 23 games with a stomach injury and tallied the game-winning goal on both Friday and Saturday night. He registered his first goal of the season on Friday night in Syracuse's 1-0 overtime win over division rival Manitoba. He followed suit on Saturday night, tallying midway through the third period to lift Syracuse 5-4 over San Antonio. In 390 career AHL games with Adirondack, Hartford and Syracuse, Pushor has tallied 14 goals, 80 assists and 675 penalty minutes. In 521 career NHL games with Detroit, Anaheim, Dallas, Columbus, Pittsburgh and NY Rangers, Pushor has registered 14 goals, 46 assists and 646 penalty minutes. A native of Lethbridge, Alberta, Pushor was signed a free agent by Columbus on October 7, 2005.
POPPERLE GETS THE CALL; LaCOSTA REASSIGNED TO DAYTON: The Syracuse Crunch announced that the Columbus Blue Jackets have added goaltender Tomas Popperle to the roster on emergency recall and have reassigned goaltender Dan LaCosta to Dayton (ECHL).
Popperle, 22, has gone 13-13-3 with a 2.96 goals-against average, .900 save percentage and three shutouts in 29 games with Syracuse this season, which is his first playing in North America. Columbus fifth pick, 131st overall, in the 2005 Entry Draft spent last season playing in Germany, where he posted a 2.18 goals against average in 33 regular season games and a 2.11 goals-against average and .927 save percentage in 11 playoff games with Eisbaren Berlin. The Broumov, Czech Republic native split the 2004-05 season between the Czech Elite and the Czech-1 League. In the Elite League, he appeared in 25 games with Sparta Praha and posted a 15-9-1 record, 1.58 goals against average, and .949 save percentage. He led the league in goals against average and save percentage and ranked sixth in shutouts (four).
LaCosta, 20, has appeared in nine games with Syracuse this season, posting a 1-2-1 record, 3.13 goals against average and a .879 save percentage. In five games with Dayton earlier this season, LaCosta posted a 1-3-1 record and 4.13 goals against average. A native of Labrador City, New Foundland, LaCosta, was drafted by Columbus in the third round, 93rd overall, in the 2004 Entry Draft.
NATIONWIDE INSURANCE COLUMBUS UPDATE: The Blue Jackets walked away with two wins this week beating both Buffalo and Minnesota by the same score of 3-2. Former Crunch Dan Fritsche tallied a goal in each of Columbus victories. Former Crunch goaltender Ty Conklin came in for Fredrik Norrena on Saturday, January 27 after Norrena suffered a groin injury in the second period.
THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS:
SPRINGFIELD (TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING): The Crunch host the Springfield Falcons on Friday, February 2 for the second and final regular season meetings between the two clubs. Springfield won the previous meeting, defeating Syracuse 4-1 at the MassMutual Center on December 15. Former Crunch defenseman Andy Delmore (1g, 1a) and left wings Justin Keller (1g,1a) and Marek Kvapil (1g,1a) lead all players in head-to-head scoring with two points. Defenseman Andy Canzanello tallied Syracuse's long goal. Goaltender Jonathan Boutin posted the win for the Falcons, recording 21 saves. Goaltender Tomas Popperle was credited with the loss, recording 19 saves. Lifetime, the Crunch are 8-14-5 against the Falcons.
ROCHESTER (BUFFALO SABRES/FLORIDA PANTHERS): On Saturday, February 3, the Rochester Americans visit the War Memorial at Oncenter for the sixth of 12 regular season meetings between the clubs. The Crunch are 2-1-0-2, despite losing 5-2 on January 13 at the War Memorial at Oncenter. Defenseman Filip Novak leads all players in head-to-head scoring with 7 points (1g,6a). Center Janis Sprukts leads all Amerks players with five points in head-t-head scoring (1g, 4a). Goaltender Tomas Popperle has appeared in net four times for Syracuse posting a 2-1-1 record, a 2.26 goals against average and .918 save percentage. Goaltender Craig Anderson has appeared in net three times for Rochester posting a 2-1-0 record, a 2.60 goals against average and .922 save percentage. Lifetime, Syracuse is 55-69-17 against Rochester.
CRUNCHABLES: Syracuse has recorded points in four of their last five games (3-1-0-1), despite not scoring a power play goal in four of the five games… The Crunch finished the month of January with a 5-3-0-3 record. It is the first time this season the team has finished a month with a winning record… In his rookie season last season, defenseman Marc Methot tallied 13 points (2g, 11a) in 71 games. He currently is three points shy of matching that total this season, have registered 10 points, all assists, in 44 games.