LISTEN | WATCH | GAME NOTES
Tonight’s Matchup: On Friday, the Barracuda connect with the Stockton Heat for the tenth time this season and the first meeting since February 17 (L, 2-1). Friday marks the first of three games between the Northern California rivals over the final five games of the regular season and the first game of a home-and-road scenario. The Barracuda are 4-4-1-0 against the Flames affiliate this year and 2-1-1-0 at Stockton Arena.
One Shot, One Kill: On Wednesday, Sasha Chmelevski and Ivan Chekhovich made their pro debuts, and both forwards found the back of the net on their first shots in the opening period. Chmelevski, the first Californian to play in a game for the Barracuda, ended the night as the games second star after collecting a pair of points (one goal, one assist), a plus-two rating, and the game winner.
Powering Up: On Wednesday, the Barracuda lit the lamp on the man-advantage for the sixth-straight game. In March, the Barracuda went 12-for-55 (22%) on the PP and are nine-for-28 (32%) in their last six games. Since March 1, San Jose has moved from 30th on the power play to 22nd in the AHL.
Youth Movement: With an average age of 22.78 years old, San Jose is the AHL’s second youngest team in the league only behind the San Antonio Rampage who average 22.76-years-old. 13 of San Jose’s 27 players on their roster are AHL rookies.
Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!: After recording his fifth multi-goal game of the season, Rudolfs Balcers now ranks T-seventh in points (41) among AHL freshman, T-ninth in goals (20), and T-13th in assists (23). Balcers leads the Barracuda in points, goals, and points-per-game (.69), and T-first in power-play goals (7). Balcers is the sixth player in Barracuda history to reach the 20-goal mark in a season (Brian Lerg (21) ’15-16, Nikolay Goldobin (21) ’15-16, Barclay Goodrow (20) ’15-16, Danny O’Regan (23) ’16-17, Barclay Goodrow (25) ’16-17).
Sommer-Time: San Jose Barracuda Head Coach and Bay Area native Roy Sommer collected the 700th AHL win of his career on Dec. 3 at Bakersfield (2-1). Sommer is the first coach in the 82-year history of the American Hockey League to reach 700 coaching wins. In 2015-16, Sommer surpassed Fred “Bun” Cook as the AHL’s all-time leader in wins and collected his first A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL Coach of the Year in 2016-17. Sommer, who’s in his AHL record 20th season behind the bench for the top affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, coached his 1,500th game in the AHL on Dec. 8 at SAP Center against Tucson. During his playing career, Sommer played nine games with the IHL’s Grand Rapids Owls during the 1979-80 season.