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Tonight’s Matchup: On Monday, the San Jose Barracuda and Bakersfield Condors collide for the fifth of 10 matchups this season and the third at SAP Center. San Jose is 2-1-0-1 against the Edmonton Oilers affiliate this year and 1-1-0-0 on home ice. In games starting before 5 PM, the ‘Cuda are 6-5-0-0, and 2-1-0-0 when wearing specialty jerseys this season.
Sorensen’s Services: The San Jose Sharks loaned forward Marcus Sorensen to the Barracuda on Sunday. Sorensen has appeared in 17 games with the Sharks AHL affiliate this season, collecting 14 points (five goals, nine assists), 14 penalty minutes, and a minus-one rating. Also, Sorensen has skated in 15 games for the Sharks, totaling three goals, five penalty minutes, and a minus-three rating.
Rattie Rolling: Bakersfield’s Ty Rattie is riding a four-game point streak (5-1-6) and has a pair of goals in each of his last two games including an overtime winner against Rockford on Saturday. In four games against the Barracuda this season, Rattie has two goals, but is a minus-three.
Currie For Three: No one has had more success against the Barracuda over the last three years than Bakersfield’s Josh Currie. In 25 career games against San Jose, Currie has 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) including netting a hat-trick against the Barracuda on December 21, in a 4-3 shootout win.
Captain America: USA Hockey announced on Jan. 1 during the second intermission of the Winter Classic between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres at Citi Field in New York, York York that San Jose Barracuda Captain John McCarthy had been selected to the United States men’s ice hockey team for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. The Olympics will be held from Feb. 9-25 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. McCarthy spent four years at Boston University from 2006-to-2010, winning an NCAA National Championship as the team’s captain in 2012. McCarthy has skated in 469 career AHL games with Chicago, Worcester, and San Jose over his nine-year pro career, accumulating 249 points (108 goals, 141 assists), 193 penalty minutes, and a plus-52 rating.
All-Star Antoine: Antoine Bibeau will be San Jose’s only representative in Utica at the end of the month for the AHL All-Star game. In his fourth professional season, and first within the Sharks organization, Bibeau, 23, is 9-7-0 in 23 games played with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage. The native of Victoriaville, Quebec is tied for first in the AHL in shutouts (2), sixth in goals-against average and T-11th in save percentage.
Winners For Wiederer: Barracuda rookie forward Manuel Wiederer has four goals this season for San Jose, all game winners. Wiederer has 10 points (four goals, six assists), 14 penalty minutes, and a plus-five rating.
Rudy, Rudy, Rudy!: Freshman forward, Rudolfs Balcers ranks T-11th in the AHL among first-year players in points (25), and T-fifth in assists (17). Balcers leads the Barracuda in points, assists, and goals (8). A season ago, Balcers led all WHL rookies in goals (40) with the Kamloops Blazers. The Sharks selected the Latvian forward in the fifth round (#142 overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. Balcers has four points (3-1-4) in four games this season against Bakersfield.
700 For Sommer: San Jose Barracuda Head Coach and Bay Area native Roy Sommer collected his 700th AHL win of his career 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 on Dec. 8 at SAP Center against Tucson.
Cuda Call Up: Five players from the Barracuda’s 2017 Calder Cup playoff roster are now on the San Jose Sharks (Tim Heed, Barclay Goodrow, Timo Meier, Joakim Ryan 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.