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Tonight’s Matchup: On Saturday, the San Jose Barracuda and Bakersfield Condors collide for the second time this season and the first of three straight matchups between the clubs. San Jose topped the Condors 2-1 in Bakersfield on Dec. 3. The Barracuda are 7-4-0-1 all-time at home vs. the Edmonton Oilers AHL affiliate.
Killing It: The Barracuda went a perfect six-for-six on the penalty kill on Wednesday in Tucson and have now killed off 12 straight penalties. Brandon Bollig sealed Wednesday’s win with a short-handed empty-netter, which was just the second shorty of the season for San Jose and the first since opening night on Oct. 7. The Barracuda now rank fourth in the AHL on the penalty kill (85.6%). In addition, San Jose has also scored on the power play in three straight games and now rank 11th in the league on the man-advantage (18.4%).
Blue-Line Bulster: 15-year NHL veteran Paul Martin was assigned to the Barracuda last Sunday for conditioning and made his minor league debut on Tuesday in Tucson and recorded his first AHL assist in Wednesday’s win over the Roadrunners. Martin has skated in 859 games in the NHL career with New Jersey, Pittsburgh, and San Jose. Martin has appeared in just three games with the Sharks this season due to injury but is scheduled to be in the lineup for the Barracuda in their next four games on a conditioning assignment.
700 For Sommer: San Jose Barracuda Head Coach and Bay Area native Roy Sommer collected his 700th AHL win of his career on 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 Friday.
Cuda Call Up: After Danny O’Regan’s recall on Tuesday, seven players from the Barracuda’s 2017 Calder Cup playoff roster are now on the San Jose Sharks (Danny O’Regan, Marcus Sorensen, Joakim Ryan, Tim Heed, Barclay Goodrow, Timo Meier, 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.
Stock Exchange: The Barracuda swapped forwards with the Allen Americans on Friday, sending Bryan Moore back to the Allen and recalling Spencer Asuchak. Asuchak has appeared in one game for the Barracuda this season after skating in four playoff games a season ago with the Cuda. Asuchak helped guide the Americans to a pair of Kelly Cup Championships in 2015 and 2016.