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AHL Game Preview: Syracuse Crunch Vs. Rochester Americans

January 9th, 2013 at 6:53 PM
By Kyle Alexander Abney

The Syracuse Crunch take to the road tonight to face the Rochester Americans in New York, the third time they've faced this Western Conference opponent and top farm team of the Buffalo Sabres.

Coming on the heels of the announcement that the NHL lockout is finally over, the Crunch are in something of a state of limbo as they don't know which players will be called up to the parent club for training camp or how soon that might be.

Various reports seem to indicate that after today's ratification of the new CBA by the league, the NHLPA will take Thursday and Friday to educate players and ratify it themselves. That would allow NHL training camps to open as early as Sunday.

The Crunch can expect to lose some talent from their roster to the Tampa Bay Lightning at least for training camp and perhaps beyond, as players like Brett Connolly, JT Brown, Cory Conacher, Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn are all likely to get at least a look from the big club before the NHL's shortened season begins.

Tonight, the Crunch will continue with the roster that has them at first overall in the AHL standings with a 22-7-2-3 record overall; however, this Crunch team has fallen both times they've faced the Amerks.

Dustin Tokarski and Riku Helenius each faced Rochester early in the season and had a difficult time containing star forward Marcus Foligno, who had success on the Buffalo Sabres' second line last season in the NHL and has continued to light up the score sheet in the American League during the lockout. Limiting Foligno, who has 10 goals and 17 assists on the season so far, will have to be a focus for the Crunch if they want a different result than the previous two meetings in November.

The puck drops at 7:05 PM EST from Rochester, New York.

UPDATE: Foligno has been pulled from this game, presumably pending a call-up to Buffalo for their training camp.

Tags: AHL, Amerks, Buffalo Sabres, Hockey, Marcus Foligno, NHL, Rochester Americans, Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay Lightning

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