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Afternoon Matchup: On Saturday, for the first time in team history, the Barracuda will take on the Cleveland Monsters. San Jose and Cleveland will play four times during the regular season with the final two matchups coming on March 9-and-10 at SAP Center. San Jose is 11-5-1-0 all-time against non-Pacific Division teams (Central Division only), and 6-1-1-0 on the road against non-Pacific clubs.
Cleveland Connection: In 2001, the San Jose Sharks moved their AHL affiliate from Kentucky (Thoroughblades) to Cleveland (Barons), and from 2001-to-2006 called Cleveland home before relocating to Worcester following the 2005-06 season. The Barons went 150-201-26-20-3 (W-L-T-OTL-SOL) under Head Coach Roy Sommer over the five-year stretch. Notable names that played in both Cleveland and San Jose include Mikka Kiprusoff, Vesa Toskala, Jonathan Cheechoo, Niko Dimitrakos, Patrick Rissmiller, Ryane Clowe, Marcel Goc, Douglas Murray, Tod Harvey, and Christian Ehrhoff.
Dan Is The Man: After being held off the scoresheet in back-to-back games over the weekend, Danny O’Regan recorded his second two-goal, three-point night of the season on Wednesday in San Jose 5-2 win over the Stockton Heat. The Red Garrett Memorial Award winner last year as the AHL’s Rookie of the Year is first on the Barracuda in goals, and T-first in points. O’Regan who played four years at Boston University collected 58 points (23 goals, 35 assists) a season ago, and also, appeared in three games for the Sharks where he scored his first NHL goal on April 8, 2016 against Calgary (David Rittich).
Helewka’s Hot Start: Through the first five games, sophomore forward Adam Helewka is first on the Barracuda in assists (5), T-first points (6), and first plus/minus (+6). In 2016-17, his rookie season, Helewka totaled 29 points (14 goals, 15 assists) in 58 games with the ‘Cuda, and scored three times in 12 playoff games. In 2014-15, as a member of the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, the Burnaby, British Columbia native was a Second-League All-Star after potting 44 goals and adding 43 assists. The Sharks drafted the 22-year-old in the fourth round of the 2015 NHL Draft.
Oh Boy Troy: Troy Grosenick was back in fine form in San Jose’s 5-2 win over Stockton on Wednesday, making 28 saves on 30 shots, while spearheading a penalty kill that went five-for-five. Grosenick went 30-10-5 a year ago with a 2.03 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage resulting in the Baz Bastien Memorial Award as the AHL’s Best Goaltender.
Big Impact: Six of the Barracuda’s top seven scorers from a season ago are currently with the San Jose Sharks (Joakim Ryan, Tim Heed, Barclay Goodrow, Ryan Carpenter, Kevin Labanc, and Timo Meier). The ‘Cuda have had to rely on some new faces in the early going of the season, including 10 rookies.
Reinforcements Are On The Way: On Friday, the Barracuda recalled forward Bryan Moore from its ECHL affiliate the Allen Americans and signed the ECHL’s leading point getter so far this season, Olivier Archambault, to a PTO. Moore appeared in two games for San Jose last year, collecting a goal and an assist.
Sommer Time: Returning for an AHL-record 20th season behind the bench for the San Jose Sharks top affiliate, Roy Sommer continues his historic career. In 2015-16, Sommer surpassed Fred ‘Bun’ Cook on the top the AHL’s all-time winning list and collected his first A.R. Pieri Memorial Award as AHL Coach of the Year in 2016-17. Sommer is 693-608-48-72-65 (W-L-T-OTL-SOL) in his career.