Crunch’s Motzko earns weekly honor

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. … The American Hockey League announced today that Syracuse Crunch right wing Joe Motzko has been named the CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week for the period ending March 26, 2006. In two contests last week, Motzko scored four goals and added an assist as the Crunch ran their winning streak to four games.

On Friday night, Motzko recorded his second hat trick of the season and picked up an assist as Syracuse posted a 9-3 win over Binghamton. He was also a plus-4 on the game. A night later, Motzko scored the game-winning goal with 1:53 left in regulation as the Crunch pulled out a 3-2 victory over Hamilton.

In recognition of his achievement, Motzko will be presented with an etched crystal award prior to an upcoming Crunch home game.

Motzko, a third-year pro out of St. Cloud State University, now has 21 goals and 28 assists for 49 points in 51 games with Syracuse in 2005-06. The native of Bemidji, Minn., ranks third on the Crunch in goals and fifth in team scoring, and now has 66 goals and 90 assists for 156 points in 202 career AHL games, all with Syracuse. Motzko has also appeared in four career NHL games with Columbus, including two earlier this season.

Other nominees for CCM Vector/AHL Player of the Week include Albany center Nicklas Bergfors, Binghamton left wing Denis Hamel, Bridgeport goaltender Wade Dubielewicz, Chicago goaltender Michael Garnett, Cleveland right wing Shane Joseph, Grand Rapids left wing Tomas Kopecky, Hartford center Dwight Helminen, Hershey right wing Graham Mink, Houston right wing Kirby Law, Iowa defenseman Mario Scalzo, Lowell goaltender Tyler Weiman, Milwaukee left wing Simon Gamache, Norfolk right wing Carl Corazzini, Peoria right wing David Backes, Philadelphia forward Tony Voce, Portland center Zenon Konopka, Providence goaltender Derek Gustafson, Toronto right wing Brad Leeb and Wilkes-Barre/Scranton forward Krystofer Kolanos.