San Jose Barracuda (28-12-2-4 .674) vs. Iowa Wild (27-16-6-4 .604)
THURSDAY, FEB. 21 | 5:00 PM
Wells Fargo Arena | Des Moines, IA
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Wild One: On Thursday, the Barracuda take on the Iowa Wild for the first of two consecutive meetings at the Wells Fargo Arena and the second matchup on the four-game season series. Thursday marks just the second visit for San Jose to Iowa in franchise history and the first since Jan. 16, 2016 (1-2 OTL). In the overtime loss, Aaron Dell made 45 saves on 47 shots and Trevor Parkes scored San Jose’s only goal. The Wild enter Thursday on a six-game point streak (3-0-2-1) but have lost the last three consecutive games after 60 minutes.
Centralized: The Barracuda are 5-1-0-1 against the Central Division in 2018-19 with their only regulation loss coming at the hands of the Wild on Feb. 5 (2-4). All-time, San Jose is 21-11-2-1 against the Central Division and 1-1-1-0 against the Minnesota Wild affiliate.
Road Warriors: Despite falling in their last two road contests, the Barracuda hold the AHL’s fifth-best road winning percentage (.636%) and goal differential (+11). Meanwhile, the Wild haven’t lost in regulation at home since January 18, 6-5 vs. Ontario, and are 9-1-1-0 at home over their last 11. Iowa ranks second in the AHL in home points, first in goals scored (107) and second in goal differential (+36). Iowa ranks second in the AHL in home power-play percentage (25.9) and third in home penalty-killing percentage (86.2). The Wild are the only team in the AHL to boast both a top five power-play unit and top-five penalty kill group.
True That: Alex True netted a pair of goals on Monday and now leads the Barracuda in points (40), goals (17), assists (23), game-winning goals (5), T-first in multi-point games (8) and third in plus/minus (+15). True has already surpassed all of his offensive totals from a year ago in 20 fewer games.
Dazzling Dezzy: On Sunday, sophomore d-man Nick DeSimone picked up an assist to extend his point streak to a career-high seven-straight games (two goals, six assists) and now ranks T-12th among AHL defensemen in points (31), T-eighth in goals (9), T-14th assists (22), and T-ninth in power-play goals (4). DeSimone has already surpassed all his offensive totals from his freshman season in just 44 games.
Sommer-Time: Barracuda Head Coach and Oakland native Roy Sommer earned his 750th AHL win on February 1 at Stockton. Sommer, who is the only coach in the 83 years of the AHL to reach 750 wins, is currently 753-643-48-78-73 over his 20+ years of coaching in the AHL. The AHL’s all-time leader in victories, games coached, and seasons coached was the third Golden State native to make the NHL during his playing career that spanned three games with the Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers and became the second Californian to score in the NHL on January 28, 1981, against the Montreal Canadiens.
Star-Studded: The Barracuda were well represented at the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic at the end of January in Springfield, MA. Assistant captain Jake Middleton, winger Francis Perron, goaltender Josef Korenar and head coach Roy Sommer were all in Springfield as Barracuda representatives. Perron co-won the sharp-shooter contest after hitting all four targets in six attempts and collected two points (one goal, one assist) in the three-on-three tournament. Middleton finished T-second among all skaters with four points (one goal, three assists) during the three-on-three tournament.
Frank the Tank: Acquired from the Ottawa Senators in the Erik Karlsson trade, third-year pro Francis Perron is second on the Barracuda in points (34), second in goals (15), T-fourth in assists (19), first in power-play goals (7), first in shooting percentage (19.0%), second in game-winning goals (3), and T-first in multi-point games (8). Perron scored the shootout game-winner on Tuesday, the first shootout goal of his career in six attempts.
Joe the Wall: Barracuda rookie netminder Josef Korenar made 25 saves on 27 shots en-route to his 17th win of the season on Monday. The AHL All-Star ranks second in the AHL in goals-against average (2.32), T-fifth in save percentage (.918), T-ninth in wins and T-third in shootouts (3).