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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (14-22-1-2) at SAN DIEGO GULLS (18-16-3-2)
FRIDAY, JAN. 31 | 7:00 P.M. | PECHANGA ARENA | SAN DIEGO, CA
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Setting Gulls: The Barracuda return to action on Friday following the AHL All-Star break with the first of back-to-back matchups with the San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks). The Barracuda are 3-2 against San Diego this season and have won the last two meetings, both at the Pechanga Arena.
Last Time Out: The ‘Cuda held a 1-0 lead for most of last Saturday’s tilt with the Ontario Reign, but a third-period collapse was the difference, as the Barracuda were handed a 3-1 loss at the SAP Center. Sasha Chmelevski scored San Jose’s only goal, while Paul LaDue, Tobias Bjornfot and Matt Luff (EN) found pay dirt for the Reign. Zach Sawchenko took the loss, allowing a pair on 30 shots while Matt Villalta earned the win by making 30 saves on 31 shots.
Scouting Report: The Gulls enter Friday with a 10-point lead on the Barracuda and are just four points behind the Reign for the fourth playoff spot in the division, with four games in hand. San Diego is led by veteran captain Sam Carrick, brother of Barracuda d-man Trevor Carrick, who is tied for 11th in the AHL in goals (18) and tied for second in plus/minus (22). In four games against the Barracuda, Carrick has four goals, including a hat-trick in a 9-3 win on Nov. 13th.
Home-Sweet-Home: The San Jose City Council unanimously approved a 200,000 square-foot expansion of Solar4America Ice at San Jose on 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.
Bright Lights on Blichy: The Barracuda’s loan All-Star Joachim Blichfeld acquitted himself quite nicely in Ontario for the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic earlier this week in Ontario, scoring twice in the three-on-three tournament for Team Pacific, and clocked in the mid-90’s in hardest shot. Blichfeld currently sits at second on the team in goals (13), points (25) and is first in power-play goals (4). A season ago, Blichfeld led the WHL in scoring (53 goals, 61 assists) and was named the WHL Player of the Year as a member of the Portland Winterhawks.
‘Cuda Call Up: The Barracuda recalled forward Tristin Langan from the Orlando Solar Bears on Thursday, the first call up to the AHL in his career. The 21-year-old has appeared in 38 games at the ECHL level this season, totaling 30 points (12 goals, 18 assists), 26 penalty minutes and a plus-21 rating. Last year as a member of the Moose Jaw Warriors in the WHL, Langan finished second in the league in points (113) and assists (60) and tied for first in goals (53). Only Joachim Blichfeld (Portland Winterhawks) had more assists and points than Langan.
Youth Movement: The Barracuda enter Friday as the AHL’s youngest roster with an average age of 22.50-years-old. No other team in the league is under 23-years-old. In fact, eight players on the 'Cuda roster are 21-years-old or younger.