SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (4-3-0-0) at STOCKTON HEAT (6-1-0-1)
FRIDAY, NOV. 1 | 7:00 P.M. | STOCKTON ARENA | STOCKTON, CA
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Heated Rivalry: The Barracuda hit the road on Friday to take on the Pacific’s top team through the first month of the season as they collide with the Stockton Heat for game one of 12 matchups on the year. The Barracuda are 33-12-2-1 all-time versus the Heat and 15-6-2-1 at the Stockton Arena. A season ago, the Barracuda went 10-2-0-0 against the Flames affiliate and 5-1-0-0 in the Port City.
Last Time Out: The Barracuda picked up their second-straight shutout win on Wednesday morning in the third annual ‘Cuda Classroom Day as they blanked the Bakersfield Condors 5-0. Joachim Blichfeld collected his first two goals of his pro career and Alex True, Evan Weinger and Lean Bergmann also found the back of the net as the Barracuda finished with two power-play goals on six attempts. Josef Korenar stopped all 28 shots he faced to claim his second consecutive blank sheet.
Heating Up: The Stockton Heat enter Friday’s tilt riding a four-game point streak (3-0-0-1) after a 6-3 win at Bakersfield on Saturday. The Heat are a perfect 5-0-0-0 on the road this year but boast a 1-1-0-1 record on home ice this season. The Heat’s 4.13 goals-per-game is the second-most in the league and only behind the undefeated Utica Comets (4.88).
Joe the Wall: Sophmore goaltender Josef Korenar has picked up shutout wins in his last two outings and has not allowed a goal in 160 minutes and 36 seconds of consecutive action. Korenar who now has six career AHL shutouts is one of only two goalies in the league to have multiple shutouts this season. As a rookie last year, Korenar went 23-8-2, with a 2.54 goals-against average and .911 save percentage and was named to the 2019 AHL mid-season All-Star team.
Conditioning Stint: The Sharks assigned defenseman Radim Simek to the Barracuda on Monday for a conditioning assignment. In his first game action since suffering a season-ending knee injury on March 12th against the Winnipeg Jets, Simek collected an assist, was a plus-1 and put one shot on net in Wednesday’s win over the Condors. In his first NHL season a year ago, the Mlada Boleslav, Czech Republic, native appeared in 41 games with the Sharks, totaling nine points (one goal, eight assists), a plus-seven rating and eight penalty minutes. The year prior, his first in North America, Simek skated in 67 games for the Barracuda, accumulating 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists), 20 penalty minutes and a plus-six rating.
Bergmann Ballin’: After making the Sharks out of training camp and appearing in six games with the big club, Lean Bergmann was assigned to the Barracuda on October 20. Since his assignment, the German forward has points in all four games (three goals, three assists), including scoring in three straight games.
Kellman Cruising: Signed by the Sharks as a free agent on April 25, 2019, Joel Kellman leads the Barracuda in points (8) and assists (7) through seven games and is riding a six-game point streak. Before this season, Kellman, 25, skated in 196 games in the Swedish Hockey League (SHL) as a member Karlskrona HK and Brynas IF, collecting 114 points (49 goals, 65 assists), 88 PIMS and a minus-18 rating.
El Cap: Barracuda Captain John McCarthy sits just one-point shy of 300 (129 goals, 170 assists) in his pro career. McCarthy is the Barracuda’s all-time leader in games played (264), points (134), goals (58) and assists (76). McCarthy has yet to register a point this season through seven games.
Youth Movement: The Barracuda are the AHL’s youngest roster with an average age of 22.60-years-old. No other team in the league is under the average age of 23-years-old and the Barracuda have eight players 21-years-old or younger, including two players under 21 (Sasha Chmelevski  and Ivan Chekhovich ).