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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (14-24-1-2) vs COLORADO EAGLES (24-14-3-1)
FRIDAY, FEB. 7 | 6:05 P.M. | BUDWEISER EVENTS CENTER | LOVELAND, CO
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Sky-High in Colorado: On Friday, the Barracuda drop the puck on the first of two games in Colorado over the weekend against the Eagles (Colorado Avalanche). The Barracuda boast a 3-2 record against the Avs affiliate this year, 1-1 record at Colorado and are coming off a 7-2 win in the most recent outing on January 15th at the SAP Center.
Last Time Out: Ivan Chekhovich snapped a 12-game goalless drought with a first-period tally to draw the Barracuda even with the San Diego Gulls at 1-1, but Simon Benoit would cash in in the second to regain the Gulls lead and Brendan Guhle would get the eventual game-winner in the third. Joachim Blichfeld also scored in the third for his co-leading 14th of the year but Alex Dostie erased any sort of Barracuda comeback hopes with an empty-netter. Andrew Shortridge suffered the loss after giving up three goals on 34 shots while Anthony Stolarz earned the win, making 36 saves on 38 shots. The 4-2 defeat was Barracuda’s fifth in a row.
Scouting Report: The Eagles enter Friday coming off back-to-back wins over the top-seeded Tucson Roadrunners and sit at the third spot in the Pacific, 21 points ahead of the Barracuda. Eagles d-man Jacob McDonald ranks tied for ninth among all blueliners in points (29) and first in goals (10). In addition Colorado has the league’s third-best winning percentage when scoring the first goals (22-4-2-0=.821%) and rank T-seventh in the league in goals-per-game (3.29) and 12th in goals-against (2.95). Since December 14th, the Eagles are 14-4-1-0 over their last 19.
Showtime: Maxim Letunov and Alexander True each made their NHL debuts on Tuesday in Calgary, helping aid the Sharks to a 3-1 win. Letunov, the Barracuda’s leading scorer (10 goals, 20 assists), logged 10 minutes and 17 seconds of ice time, while True, the Barracuda’s second all-time leading scorer (50 goals, 58 assists), registered 12 minutes and 52 seconds of ice time.
Flipin’ the Switch: On Thursday, the Barracuda recalled forward Artem Ivanyuzhenkov from the Norfolk Admirals and reassigned goaltender Andrew Shortridge to the Allen Americans. In 17 games with Ads, Artem collected seven points (four goals, three assists) and 11 penalty minutes.
Home-Sweet-Home: The San Jose City Council unanimously approved a 200,000 square-foot expansion of Solar4America Ice at San Jose last Tuesday, which will add two additional recreational ice sheets to the facility, increasing the building’s total ice sheets to six. The expansion will make S4A Ice at San Jose the largest ice facility under one roof west of the Mississippi River. One of the additional ice sheets will be located inside a 4,200-seat, two-story spectator arena which will serve as the new home for the San Jose Barracuda. Construction for the facility is expected to begin in April 2020, with a targeted completion date of April 2022.
Youth Movement: The Barracuda enter Friday as the AHL’s youngest roster with an average age of 22.50-years-old. In fact, eight players on the 'Cuda roster are 21-years-old or younger, including 20-year-old Sasha Chmelevksi.