Minor League Report: January 29
2007-08 RECORD: 22-24-2-1, 47 points, (10-8-1-0 home, 12-16-1-1 road), third place, North Division
THIS WEEK’S GAMES
Friday, February 1 @ Albany (26-20-0-2, 54 points), fourth place, East Division
Saturday, February 2 vs. San Antonio (25-13-3-4, 57 points), fourth place, West Division
LAST WEEK'S RESULT
Tuesday, January 22 - Crunch 2, LAKE ERIE 1
Thursday, January 24 - MANITOBA 3, Crunch 1
Friday, January 25 - MANITOBA 3, Crunch 1
Saturday, January 26 - Crunch 2, HAMILTON 0
HOME TEAM IN CAPS
WILSON IN ALL-STAR FORM: It has been a tumultuous year for Crunch defenseman Clay Wilson. On November 15, 2007, he was acquired by Columbus along with Aaron Rome from Anaheim in exchange for Geoff Platt.
He made a nice transition, notching 9 points (2g, 7a), in his first seven games with the club and helped turn the Syracuse power play into one of the most dangerous in the league.
Wilson went the next twelve games with just 3 points (1g, 2a) and could not seem to find a rhythm back on the Crunch blue line.
When the month of January rolled around, it seemed that Wilson's New Year's resolution was to get back to the form he had displayed when he first came to the Crunch. He did just that, and has racked up 9 points (1g, 8a) in 12 games since January 2.
He has been especially good lately, tallying 4 points (1g, 3a), in four games last week, including a two-point effort (1g, 1a) in Friday's 2-0 win @ Hamilton. Wilson was named the first star of that game.
Wilson was rewarded for his play on January 10 when he was selected to play for the PlanetUSA team at the 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok.
BAD BOYS, BAD BOYS: The Syracuse Crunch have garnered a reputation for being a tough team this year. Three Crunch rookies and two veterans have contributed to this image.
Two Crunch rookies, Derek Dorsett and Tom Sestito currently pace the team with 169 and 133 penalty minutes each, respectively. Both of them are in the top 10 in the entire AHL in that category. Dorsett and Sestito are also first and second among AHL rookies for minutes in the sin bin.
Defenseman Aaron Rome (105 PIM), center Zenon Konopka (99 PIM) and left wing Jon Mirasty (71 PIM) have also been penalized quite a bit this season.
All five of these Crunch players are in the top 65 in the AHL in penalty minutes. Overall as a team, Syracuse leads the AHL in penalty minutes with 1,217.
AHL ALL-STAR CLASSIC PRESENTED BY REEBOK: Crunch left wing Joakim Lindstrom and defenseman Clay Wilson will take part in the AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok tonight at the Broome County Veterans Memorial Arena in downtown Binghamton, New York.
The 2008 AHL All-Star Classic presented by Reebok will feature the top young talent in the American Hockey League. The event will be televised nationally in the United States and Canada. Locally, the game will be televised on Time Warner Sports.
Of the 427 players to take part in the AHL All-Star Classic since 1995, more than 93 percent have competed in the National Hockey League, including Patrice Bergeron, Brad Boyes, Daniel Briere, Zdeno Chara, Jonathan Cheechoo, Pavol Demitra, Rick DiPietro, Patrik Elias, Ray Emery, Jiri Hudler, Miikka Kiprusoff, Kari Lehtonen, Ryan Miller, Martin St. Louis, Jason Spezza, Eric Staal and Steve Sullivan.
THIS WEEK’S OPPONENTS:
ALBANY RIVER RATS (CAROLINA HURRICANES): Syracuse travels to Albany to take on the River Rats on Friday for the sixth of eight meetings between these two clubs. The Crunch are 4-1-0-0 against Albany this season. The Cruch took the last contest, 2-1 on January 13. After dropping the first game of the season series to the River Rats back on October 24, the Crunch have won four straight against them. Zenon Konopka (2g, 3a), Aaron Rome (2g, 3a) and Clay Wilson (0g, 5a), are tied for the season series lead in scoring among players on both teams. In three games against Albany, Syracuse goaltender Adam Munro is 2-0-0-0 with a 0.72 goals-against average and .973 save percentage.
SAN ANTONIO RAMPAGE (PHOENIX COYOTES): The Crunch finally return home from a five-game road trip on Saturday to take on San Antonio at the War Memorial at Oncenter. This will be the second of two meetings against the Rampage this season. These two teams last met back on October 31 at the AT&T Center, with San Antonio pulling out a 5-3 victory on the strength of 3 points (2g, 1a) from Bill Thomas.
The Crunch have scored the first goal of the game in each of their last six games… Three of Tom Sestito's six goals this year have been the first goal of the game, including his goal on Friday night in Manitoba… Adam Munro notched his first shutout of the season in Friday's 2-0 win @ Hamilton… The Crunch now have three shutouts on the year by three different goaltenders… Tomas Popperle and Craig Kowalski have the others.