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Tonight’s Matchup: The San Jose Barracuda and Tucson Roadrunners meet on Friday night for the first of two games over the weekend in the Old Pueblo and the second matchup on the eight-game season series. San Jose won the only previous collision on October 15 at SAP Center at San Jose, 3-2 in a shootout. Friday will mark the first time San Jose has been in the Tucson Convention Center since falling three games to one last April in a best-of-five Calder Cup division semi-final matchup. The Barracuda are 6-1-0-1 all-time in the desert in the regular season.
Two-Headed Monster: Barracuda goaltenders Antoine Bibeau (GAA: 1.79, SV%: .940) and Josef Korenar (GAA: 1.80, SV%: .933) rank within the top six of the AHL in both goals-against average and save percentage. Bibeau, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for October after allowing just nine goals on 149 shots, made 29 saves in the 3-2 shootout win over the Roadrunners on October 15. Korenar ranks first among all freshman goaltenders in wins (5-0-0-0), second in GAA and third in SV%.
Top of the Class: San Jose’s +22 goal differential ranks first in the AHL and their .864 winning percentage is the best mark in the Western Conference. San Jose and Charlotte (7-0-0-0) are the only undefeated road teams in the AHL thus far this season. In addition, San Jose has allowed a league-low 21 goals through 11 games. The Barracuda are allowing a just 1.91 goals against per game (1st in the AHL) and rank T-fourth in the AHL in goals-for per game at 3.91
Letunov’s Loose: Once property of the Arizona Coyotes, and a former second-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, Maxim Letunov ranks 11th among AHL freshman in scoring and T-third in goals. Letunov has seven points (three goals, four assists) over his last six games.
Fabulous Francis: On September 13, as a part of the Erik Karlsson trade, Francis Perron was acquired from the Ottawa Senators. Thus far, Perron co-leads the Barracuda in points (11), is first in goals (6), and is first in power-play goals (4). Perron recorded a goal and an assist against Tucson on October 15.
Hot Halbgewachs: Jayden Halbgewachs ranks T-second among all freshmen in points (11), T-third in goals (5), T-third in plus/minus (+7). The Sharks signed the 21-year-old as an undrafted free agent last December and earned CHL Top Scorer honors in 2017-18 after collecting 129 points (70 goals, 59 assists) in 72 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL.
Youth Movement: The San Jose Barracuda (22.6) and Tucson Roadrunners (22.91) enter Friday’s tilt as the two youngest rosters in the AHL. Just 13 players on San Jose’s 25-man opening night roster skated for the Barracuda a season ago. In addition, just four players on the Barracuda’s current roster were drafted by the Sharks (Dylan Gambrell, John McCarthy, Manuel Wiederer, Jeremy Roy). The other 21 were either signed as free agents or acquired in a trade.