SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (4-3-1-0) at SAN DIEGO GULLS (8-5-0-0)
FRIDAY, MAR. 6 | 7:30 P.M. | FivePoint Arena | Irvine, CA
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Down South: The Barracuda wrap up their Southern California roadie with the second of two games against the Gulls on Saturday night. Since having five consecutive games postponed due to Covid-19 protocols and inclement weather, the Barracuda are 3-1 over their last four. Tonight’s game marks the second meeting on the six-game season series and the second of three in a row between the two teams overall. The Barracuda and Gulls will square off again on Tuesday at Solar4America Ice at San Jose.
Up and Down: On Tuesday, the Barracuda recalled goaltender Josef Korenar, defenseman Nick DeSimone and forwards Joachim Blichfeld, Kurtis Gabriel, and Joel Kellman. Before his recall, Blichfeld (6+3=9) was riding a five-game point streak and ranked first on the team in goals, points, shots (25), shooting percentage (33%), and tied for first on the team in plus/minus (+4), power-play goals (1), game-winning goals (1), and first goals (1). In a corresponding move, the Sharks assigned goaltender Alexei Melnichuk, defenseman Nicolas Meloche and forwards Sasha Chmelevski, Noah Gregor, and Stefan Noeson to the Barracuda.
California Connection: Barracuda captain Jaycob Megna was drafted by Anaheim in 2012, and spent his first five professional seasons within the Ducks organization before signing with Vegas last year. In 2018-19, he served as the Gulls’ captain. On Jan. 27, 2021, the Sharks traded defenseman Trevor Carrick to Anaheim in exchange for forward Jack Kopacka. Carrick is now a member of the Gulls. The team turned around and traded Kopacka to the Ottawa Senators along with a seventh-round draft pick for current Barracuda defenseman Christian Jaros. Former Sharks’ second-round pick Jeremy Roy is also on San Diego’s roster, currently on a professional tryout agreement
California Dreaming: Barracuda forwards Sasha Chmelevski, Jake McGrew, and Evan Weinger all dressed for the Barracuda on Friday, marking the first time in Barracuda and Sharks' affiliate history that they had three Californians in one game. Chmelevski, who was born in Huntington Beach before moving to Michigan in his early teens, made his NHL debut on Feb. 5 at Anaheim, making Sharks history by assisting on fellow Californian Matt Nieto’s goal. McGrew, who was selected along with Chmelevski in the 2017 NHL Draft by the Sharks, grew up just 15 minutes from Irvine in Orange California. Weinger grew up in El Segundo, California, which is 45 minutes from Irvine. On Friday, Chmelevski and Weinger each scored for the Barracuda, and Matt Nieto lit the lamp in the Sharks 5-4 overtime loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.