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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (14-20-0-2) vs IOWA WILD (22-14-3-2)
SATURDAY, JAN. 18 | 6:00 P.M. CT | WELLS FARGO ARENA | DES MOINES, IA
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Destination Des Moines: On Saturday, the Barracuda wrap up a two-game set with the Iowa Wild (Minnesota Wild). The Barracuda are 4-2-1-0 against Minnesota’s farm team all-time and 2-1-1-0 at the Wells Fargo Arena. A season ago, the Barracuda went 2-2-0-0 against the Wild in four games, with Dylan Gambrell (four goals, two assists) and Gerald Mayhew (three goals, three assists) leading the way offensively during the head-to-head matchup.
Center of Attention: The Barracuda enter Saturday’s tilt with a 26-12-1-2 record against the Central Division all-time and hold a 13-5-1-2 record on the road against Central Division. A season ago, the Barracuda went 9-2-0-1 against the Central and 4-1-0-1 on the road against Central foes. So far this season, the Pacific Division is 22-8-3-3 in head- to-head meetings against Central Division opponents and boast a 9-4-1-2 record against the Wild.
Last Time Out: The Barracuda fell behind to the Iowa Wild 1-0 on Friday night but answered with three unanswered goals in the third period to pick up 3-1 win. In the victory, Jeff Viel scored twice for the first time in his career and Sasha Chmelevski netted the game winner. Zachary Sawchenko earned the win by stopping 23 of 24.
Wild Things: Iowa’s Gerald Mayhew and Sam Anas both sit at second in the AHL in scoring (42) and Mayhew is pacing the league with 26 goals. In addition, Mayhew is fourth in the AHL in minor penalties (23), t-second in power- play goals (10), fourth in shots (126) and first in game-winning goals (6). Anas is first in the AHL in power-play assists (21), power-play points (24) and third in assists (30). Mayhew and defenseman Brennan Menell were the Wild’s two All-Star Classic selections.
Hey Now, You’re an All-Star: Joachim Blichfeld was the lone Barracuda player named to the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic earlier this month, joining Jake Middleton, Francis Perron, Josef Korenar, Barclay Goodrow, Ryan Carpenter, Troy Grosenick, Danny O'Regan, Antoine Bibeau, and Rudolfs Balcers as players to represent the Barracuda at the AHL All-Star Classic. Blichfeld, 21, has appeared in 27 games with the Barracuda this season and currently sits at second on the team in goals (13), points (25) and is first in power-play goals (4). A season ago, Blichfeld led the WHL in scoring (53 goals, 61 assists) and was named the WHL Player of the Year. Blichfeld is currently up with the Sharks.
Carrick Cooking: Trevor Carrick lit the lamp for the second-straight game on Wednesday and the third time over his last four games and is now T-second in the AHL in goals (8) among d-men. On December 11, Carrick scored the first d-man hat-trick in franchise history in a 6-2 win over the Bakersfield Condors and is T-first on the team in game- winners (3). A season ago, Carrick finished sixth among AHL defensemen in scoring (47), fourth in assists (38) and 15th in penalty minutes (86) and helped lead the Charlotte Checkers to a Calder Cup Championship. The Sharks acquired Carrick in an offseason trade that sent Kyle Wood to the Carolina Hurricanes.
Halbs Heating Up: Second-year-pro Jayden Halbgewachs netted a pair of goals (13, 14) on Wednesday and now leads the Barracuda in that department along with game-winners (3). Halbgewachs has six points (five goals, one assist) over his last five games and has now recorded multiple-points in eight games this year. Two years ago, Halbgewachs led the CHL in scoring (129) and the WHL in goals (70) as a member of the Moose Jaw Warriors. Friday marks Halbgewachs’ 100th AHL game of his career.
Maxed Out: Sophomore forward Max Letunov recorded a pair of assists on Wednesday and now leads the Barracuda in assists (20) and points (28). Wednesday was the 23-year-olds seventh multi-point effort this season and fifth of his AHL career. The Sharks originally acquired Letunov from the Arizona Coyotes in a draft-day trade in 2016.
Youth Movement: The Barracuda enter Friday as the AHL’s youngest roster with an average age of 22.48-years-old. No other team in the league is under 23-years-old. In fact, seven players on the 'Cuda roster are 21-years-old or younger, including two players under 21 (Sasha Chmelevski  and Ivan Chekhovich ).