GAME PREVIEW: BARRACUDA AT REIGNFeb 28, 2019
San Jose Barracuda (30-14-2-4 .653) vs. Ontario Reign (17-25-5-2 .418)
FRI, MAR. 1 | 7:00 PM
Citizens Business Bank Arena | Ontario, CA
Tonight’s Matchup: The Barracuda make their final visit to Ontario on Friday in the first game of a two-game road trip that will wrap up in Bakersfield on Saturday. The Barracuda are 4-2 against the Reign in 2018-19 but have lost the last two meeting including the most recent collision on February 10 at Citizens Business Bank Arena (3-4 L).
Road Ahead: The Barracuda and Texas Stars boast the Western Conference’s toughest strength of schedule (.579) in the remaining month and a half of the season. Starting on Saturday, San Jose will kick off three consecutive games against the Pacific Division’s top team, the Bakersfield Condors.
Road Warriors: Despite Sunday’s loss at Stockton, the Barracuda still boast the AHL’s seventh best road winning percentage (.600). Only the Rochester Americans (257) have less road penalty minutes than San Jose (270) and the Barracuda hold the 7th best road goal differential in the AHL (+8). Meanwhile, the Ontario Reign and Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins have the worst home winning percentage (.462). The Reign are last in the league with a -18 home-goal differential. Overall, Ontario has the worst winning percentage in the AHL at .418.
Trade Winds: On Monday, the Sharks traded 2019 third-round pick Linus Karlsson to the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for Jonathan Dahlen. Dahlen, 21, was originally acquired by Vancouver from Ottawa in 2017 for veteran forward Alex Burrows. The 42nd overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, Dahlen had 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) in 50 games with Utica and ranks third among all rookies with eight power-play goals. Dahlen made his debut for the Barracuda on Tuesday, registering zero points and two shots on net. Jonathan’s dad, Ulf, played for the Sharks parts of four seasons with the Sharks from 1994-to-1997, appearing in 161 games and totaling 93 points (41 goals, 52 assists). Barracuda HC Roy Sommer was an assistant for the Sharks during the 1996-97 season, Ulf’s final campaign in Teal.
Polar Opposites: Entering Friday, the Barracuda rank third in the AHL in goals-against average (2.74) and seventh in goals-per-game (3.30). The Reign are dead-last in goals-against (4.06) and 18th in goals-per-game (3.08). The Reign enter Monday allowing more shots-per-game (35.78) than any other club in the A. In addition, Ontario is the AHL’s third most penalized team (15.45), while San Jose is the second least penalized team in the AHL (10.64).
D-Depth: Both Nick DeSimone (11th) (10+23=33) and Kyle Wood (15th) (4+26=30) rank within the top 15 of all AHL d-men in scoring. DeSimone’s six goals is good T-sixth overall among blueliners, while Wood’s 26 helpers place in T-seventh. Over his last 11 games, DeSimone has registered three goals and seven assists. On Tuesday, DeSiome converted his first shorthanded goal of his career. DeSimone is first on the Barracuda in shots entering Friday (112).
True That: Alex True netted his team-leading 18th goal of the season on Sunday and first shorthanded strike of his career. The sophomore Denmark native is first on the Barracuda in goals (18), first in points (41), T-second in assists (23), third in plus/minus (+15), fourth in power-play goals (3), T-first in shorthanded goals, second in points-per-game (.82), third in shots (101), and first in game-winning goals (5).
Gambo Good: On Tuesday, Dylan Gambrell collected his third three-point night (one goal, two assists). Gambrell now has seventh multi-point games this season and now ranks 10th among all freshman in points (15+21=36). Over his last seven games, Gambrell has 12 points (seven goals, five assists). The 2017 National Champion at Denver University is T-second on the Barracuda in goals, (15) T-second in assists (23), T-second in points (36) and first in points-per-game (1.00).
Joe the Wall: Barracuda rookie netminder Josef Korenar made 30 saves on 33 shots en-route to his 19th win of the season on Tuesday and his third in a row. The AHL All-Star ranks second in the AHL in goals-against average (2.32), T-fifth in save percentage (.918), T-sixth in wins (19) and T-third in shutouts.