BARRACUDA (1-1-0-1) at Roadrunners (1-1-0-0)
4 p.m. PT; (NO BROADCAST COVERAGE)
The Barracuda continue their preseason slate this afternoon in Tucson against the Roadrunners (Arizona Coyotes) in the first of two exhibition games against the Coyotes affiliate over the next week. The Barracuda and Roadrunners will face-off again on Monday before kicking off a three-game series to begin the regular season, starting on Feb. 5.
Wednesday will be a homecoming for Barracuda defenseman Robbie Russo who spent the two prior seasons as a Roadrunner', serving as an assistant captain in each campaign.
In six games last season, the Barracuda boasted a .500 (3-3-0-0) record against Tucson and a 1-1-0-0 mark at the Tucson Convention Center.
The Roadrunners finished the shortened 2019-20 AHL regular season, first in the Pacific Division (36-19-1-2 – 75 points), third in the Western Conference, and fifth overall in the League and are expected to have their top two scorers back from a year ago, in Brayden Burke (21+31=52) and Michael Bunting (12+37=49).
The Roadrunners will have a different look on its bench this year as the team announced on Jan. 22 that Steve Potvin would take over as the third full-time head coach in franchise history. Jay Varady who had held that post for a pair of seasons was promoted to assistant coach with the Coyotes the week prior.
In total, the Roadrunners are expected to have 12 returners from its club a season ago, taking the ice with an average age of 25.12 years old, the 11 oldest roster in the AHL. Although the Barracuda will have the most experienced blueline in its had in years, the team’s average age caps at 23-years-old, 24th oldest in the AHL.
The Barracuda enter Wednesday’s meeting with Tucson, boasting 1-1-0-1 record so far during preseason action. The Barracuda were last on the ice on Friday, falling 3-2 in a shootout to the Ontario Reign. For the second consecutive game, newcomer Kurtis Gabriel scored within the first 60 seconds and third-year pro, Jayden Halbgewachs also found the back of the net for the second time in the preseason.
A pair of Barracuda rookies are projected to make their season debuts tonight. Jake McGrew, a California native and 2017 Sharks' 6th rounder, who collected eight points (six goals, two assists) in 11 games with the Allen Americans, is penciled in as the team's fourth-line right wing. And Krystof Hrabik will center the fourth line. Hrabik will also make his season debut after he began the year on loan with Bili Tygri Liberec (Czech League).
To listen to Tucson’s broadcast, click here.
A full Barracuda training camp roster can be found here.
A projected Barracuda lineup can be found below:
89 Halbgewachs - 91 Robins - 27 Wiesblatt
45 Bergmann - 60 Gallant - 29 Gabriel
14 Suomela - 84 Letunov - 86 Blichfeld
93 Coe 81 - Hrabik 64 - McGrew
47 Megna - 6 Merkley
72 Reddekopp - 68 Russo
77 Cukste - 57 DeSimone