LISTEN | WATCH | GAME NOTES
Afternoon Matchup: On Sunday, the San Jose Barracuda and Manitoba Moose battle for the second time in as many nights and the final time this season. San Jose is 2-1-0-0 against the Winnipeg Jets affiliate this season, 6-1-0-0 all-time and 3-0-0-0 in the ‘Peg.
Last Time Out: The Barracuda got goals from Filip Sandberg, Brandon Bollig, and Manuel Wiederer and 24 saves from Troy Grosenick to upend the Manitoba Moose, 3-2, on Saturday afternoon at Bell MTS Place. The win marked San Jose’s first three-game winning streak this season and snapped Manitoba's AHL-long and franchise-record 16-game point streak and six-game winning streak.
Reindeer Games: Freshman forward, Rudolfs Balcers netted Thursday nights game winner and now ranks T-10th in the AHL among first-year players in points (22), and T-sixth in assists (15). Balcers leads the Barracuda in points, and assists, and is tied with Danny O’Regan and Brandon Bollig for the team lead in goals. Balcers has four goals over his last five games. A season ago, Balcers led all WHL rookies in goals (40) with the Kamloops Blazers. The Sharks selected the Latvian forward in the fifth round (#142 overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Bibeau’s Block Party: Barracuda netminder Antoine Bibeau ranks fourth in the AHL in goals-against average (2.17), T-10th in save percentage (.920), and T-first in shutouts (2). Bibeau spent the first three seasons of his pro career within the Toronto Maple Leafs organization before signing with San Jose as a free agent this offseason.
700 For Sommer: San Jose Barracuda Head Coach and Bay Area native Roy Sommer collected his 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 last on Dec. 8 at SAP Center against Tucson.
Cuda Call Up: Six players from the Barracuda’s 2017 Calder Cup playoff roster are now on the San Jose Sharks (Marcus Sorensen, Tim Heed, Barclay Goodrow, Timo Meier, Joakim Ryan and Kevin Labanc). A season ago, the Barracuda finished with the Western Conference’s best regular season winning percentage (.699) and advanced to the Conference Finals before being eliminated by the Grand Rapids Griffins in five games.