GAMEDAY: BARRACUDA at GULLS (11-18-16)Nov 18, 2016
Game #10 – San Jose (5-3-0-1) at San Diego (4-5-1-0)
7:00 PM PST, Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, Calif.
Tonight’s Matchup: The San Jose Barracuda and San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks) clash for the first of 10 meeting on Friday night at Valley View Casino Center. Both teams enter Friday on a two-game winning streak after San Jose split with Texas last weekend and then blanked San Antonio on Tuesday, while San Diego earned both victories at home last Friday and Saturday against Manitoba. San Jose went 4-6-1-1 against the Gulls in 2015-16 and 3-2-1-0 at Valley View Casino Center.
San Diego’s two wins this past weekend lifted the Gulls from the bottom of the Pacific Division. San Diego’s .450 winning percentage (4-5-1-0) is good for seventh in Division and 12th in the Western Conference. San Jose’s .611 winning percentage (5-3-0-1) is 3rd in the Division and 6th in the conference.
Players To Watch: The line of Marcus Sorensen, Danny O’Regan and Timo Meier has found instant chemistry in two games. The group has a combined for fourteen points (6-8-14) and two game winners.
Special Teams: Both San Diego and San Jose rank within the top 11 of the league on the power play, but it’s the penalty kill that has been the Gulls biggest struggle in the early going of the season. The Gulls are dead last on the PK, allowing goals 30.6% of the time. The Barracuda are 20th in the league on the penalty kill allowing goals 19.4% of the time.
Between the pipes: Troy Grosenick has not allowed a goal in his last four periods of play. Grosenick worked just one frame against Texas last Saturday and secured the win by making four saves in the final period in an 8-5 win. Grosenick linked his solid third period with a sensational 27-save shutout against San Antonio on Tuesday. The fourth-year pro is 3-3-0-0 on the year with a pair of shutouts, a 2.69 goals-against average and a .905 save percentage. Grosenick went 3-3-2 in nine games played against San Diego last year with a 2.86 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage. Mantas Armalis was pulled in his last start after allowing five goals on 26 shots at Texas on Nov. 12. Armalis is 2-0-0-1 on the year with a 3.39 goals-against average and a .881 save percentage.
Both Matt Hackett and Dustin Tokarski each picked up a victory against Manitoba last weekend with Hackett making a season-high 39 saves in a 6-3 win on Saturday night to earn his first victory of the season. Hackett is 1-3-0-0 with a 4.48 goals-against average and a .860 save percentage in five games played. In three games last season, Hackett was 2-1-0-0 against San Jose with a 2.40 goals-against average and a .916 save percentage. While goaltending has been a struggle in the early going for San Diego, Tokarski has managed to go 3-2-0-0 in five games played with a 4.11 goals-against average and a .857 save percentage.
San Jose’s Last Time Out: The San Jose Barracuda used a Timo Meier goal in the first, a Marcus Sorensen goal in the second, a pair of empty netters in the third from Rourke Chartier and Sorensen and a 27-save gem from Troy Grosenick to shutout the San Antonio Rampage, 4-0, at AT&T Center on Tuesday morning.
San Diego’s Last Time Out: Matt Hackett turned in his best performance of the season for the Gulls making 39 saves on 42 shots to backstop San Diego to 6-3 home win over the Manitoba Moose last Saturday. The Gulls used six different scorers and managed to pot a shorthanded goal and a pair of power play tallies to earn the win.