SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (9-14-0-2) vs SAN DIEGO GULLS (10-11-1-1)
FRIDAY, DEC. 20 | 7:00 P.M. | PECHANGA ARENA | SAN DIEGO, CA
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Friday Night Lights: On Friday, the Barracuda hit the road for the final game before the holiday break as they take on the San Diego Gulls in the fifth matchup on the 12-game season series. The Barracuda are 2-2-0-0 against the Ducks affiliate this season and are coming off a 3-2 overtime win at San Diego in the last meeting on November 27th.
Last Time Out: On Wednesday, the Barracuda dropped a 4-3 decision to the Ontario Reign at the SAP Center, their third-consecutive loss. In the defeat, Nick DeSimone, Joel Kellman, and Joachim Blichfeld each found the back of the net.
Call of Duty: On Thursday, the Sharks recalled forwards Noah Gregor and Joel Kellman and defenseman Jacob Middleton. For Kellman, Thursday marks the first recall for the center-ice man who the Sharks signed as a free agent this offseason out of Sweden.
Blichfeld Beasting: In his first game back with the Barracuda on Wednesday after reassignment, Joachim Blichfeld netted a goal and added an assist as he recorded his fourth straight multi-point game at the AHL level. Blichfeld leads the Barracuda in goals (10) and co-leads the team in points (21), power-play goals (3) and points-per-game (1.00). Among AHL rookies, Blichfeld is first in points-per-game (1.00), among skaters who have appeared in two or more games, tied for fifth in scoring, seventh in goals and T-fifth in power-play goals. Last year, Blichfeld led the WHL in scoring (53 goals, 61 assists) and was named the WHL Player of the Year (Four Broncos Trophy) as a member of the Portland Winterhawks. The Sharks selected the Denmark native with the second-to-last pick (210th) in the 2016 NHL draft.
Maxed Out: Sophomore forward Max Letunov collected an assist on Wednesday and now co-leads the team in points (21), is tied for first in power-play goals (3) and is first in game-winners (2). Letunov has points in 11 of his last 12 games (3+12=15) and is riding a four-game point streak (1+3=4). The Sharks originally acquired Letunov from the Arizona Coyotes in a draft-day trade in 2016.
Blueline Bolster: Sophomore blueliner Thomas Gregoire is third on the Barracuda in points (19), first in assists (16), T-third in power-play goals (2) and fourth in points-per-game (.83). Among AHL defensemen, Gregoire is T-seventh in points, T-sixth in assists, and T-third in points-per-game among skaters who have appeared in 19 or more games.
Youth Movement: The Barracuda are the AHL’s youngest roster with an average age of 22.96-years-old. No other team in the league is under 23-years-old. In fact, six players on the 'Cuda roster are 21-years-old or younger, including two players under 21 (Sasha Chmelevski  and Ivan Chekhovich ).