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Rubber Match: On Thursday, the San Jose Barracuda and Bakersfield Condors collide for the third consecutive game. San Jose is 2-1 against the Condors this year after a 3-2 win on Sunday. The Barracuda are 7-4-1-1 at Rabobank Arena all-time and 1-0 this season.
About Last Night: Troy Grosenick returned to the lineup for the first time since Nov. 26 and made a season-high 32 saves to lead San Jose to the 3-2 win on Sunday over Bakersfield. Adam Helewka potted an opening-period penalty shot, and Rudolfs Balcers recorded his first multi-goal game. Ty Rattie and Joey LaLeggia scored for the Condors.
Road Warriors: The Barracuda are riding a three-game road-winning streak after back-to-back wins in Tucson last week. San Jose’s .550 (5-4-0-1) road winning percentage ranks second best in the Pacific Division, only behind Tucson, and 11th in the AHL.
Blue-Line Bulster: 15-year NHL veteran Paul Martin was assigned to the Barracuda last Sunday for conditioning and made his minor league debut last Tuesday in Tucson and recorded his first AHL assist on Wednesday against the Roadrunners. Martin has skated in 859 games in the NHL career with New Jersey, Pittsburgh, and San Jose. Martin has appeared in just three games with the Sharks this season due to injury.
Ryan Rocking: The Sharks assigned defenseman Joakim Ryan to the Barracuda on Monday. One of the top blueliners in the AHL a season ago, Ryan skated in the Barracuda’s opener on Oct. 7 before being recalled to the NHL where he appeared in 24 games for the Sharks, totaling three assists, four penalty minutes and a plus-two rating. Ryan has skated in 129 AHL games over his three-year professional career, accumulating 79 points (12 goals, 62 assists), 69 penalty minutes, and a plus-36 rating.
700 For Sommer: San Jose Barracuda Head Coach and Bay Area native Roy Sommer collected his 700th AHL win of his career on on Dec. 3 at Bakersfield, 2-1. Sommer is the first coach in the 82-year history of the American Hockey League to reach 700 coaching wins. In 2015-16, Sommer surpassed Fred “Bun” Cook as the AHL’s all-time leader in wins and collected his first A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL Coach of the Year in 2016-17. Sommer, who’s in his AHL record 20th season behind the bench for the top affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, coached his 1,500th game in the AHL last Friday.
Cuda Call Up: After Danny O’Regan’s recall, six players from the Barracuda’s 2017 Calder Cup playoff roster are now on the San Jose Sharks (Danny O’Regan, Marcus Sorensen, Tim Heed, Barclay Goodrow, Timo Meier, and Kevin Labanc). A season ago, the Barracuda finished with the Western Conference’s best regular season winning percentage (.699) and advanced to the Conference Finals before being eliminated by the Grand Rapids Griffins in five games.