Mar 11, 2017

Game #53 – San Jose Barracuda (34-12-2-4) vs. Grand Rapids (38-17-1-2)

Saturday, March 11, 2017

6:00 PM PST, SAP Center, San Jose, Calif.


Tonight’s Matchup: The San Jose Barracuda and Grand Rapids Griffins duel for the second and final time on Saturday at SAP Center. The matchup pins the Western Conference’s top two teams against one another for the first time since San Jose beat the Griffins, 4-1, in Michigan on Jan. 27. Grand Rapids holds the top power play in the AHL (27.1%) and the best goal differential (+63) in the American Hockey League. San Jose has the best home winning percentage in the AHL (18-4-1-2= .780) this season while the Griffins hold the fourth-best road winning percentage in the League (17-9-1-0= .648).

League Leader: The San Jose Barracuda still sit atop the AHL with a .712 winning percentage. San Jose set a league long 14-game winning streak from January 25 to March 1 and a 15-game point streak from January to 25 to March 4, sweeping the month of February with an 11-0 record.

Setting Goals: San Jose is the only team in the AHL with 10 or more skaters with 10 or more goals, and their plus-49 goal differential is third best in the League.

Feed Heed: Among AHL defensemen, Barracuda d-man Tim Heed is third in the AHL in points (12+34=46), seventh in goals, second in assists, T-fifth in power-play goals (7), T-second in game-winning goals (4) and is T-19th overall in the league in points. Heed has points in ten of his last 12 games.

Ryan Rising: Among AHL defenseman, Barracuda blueliner Joakim Ryan is T-eighth among AHL defensemen in points (7+27=34), eighth in assists, and is third in the AHL in plus/minus (+26).

Dynamic Danny: Among rookies, Barracuda All-Star forward Danny O’Regan is first in points (18+31=47), first in assists, seventh in goals, T-third in power-play goals (6), and is T-eighth in points overall in the AHL. O’Regan scored the tying goal and OT winner in Sunday’s victory over San Diego.

Troy Trending: Barracuda All-Star netminder Troy Grosenick was pulled from Wednesday game against San Diego after giving up five goals on 13 shots, but still sits atop the AHL in shutouts (7), fourth in goals-against average (2.16), fourth in save percentage (.927) and T-third in wins (22). Grosenick’s last regulation loss came in San Diego on January 20.

San Jose’s Last Time Out: The San Jose Barracuda scored three unanswered goals to force overtime but eventually fell in the extra session, 7-6, to the San Diego Gulls at Valley View Casino Center on Wednesday night. Kevin Labanc (6), Tim Heed (12), Colin Blackwell (3), Nikita Jevpalovs (12), Barclay Goodrow (18) and Timo Meier (12) all scored in the loss. Troy Grosenick allowed five goals on eight shots but earned the no-decision. Mantas Armalis suffered the loss after giving up two goals on 25 shots in 44 minutes and 50 seconds of work.

Grand Rapids’ Last Time Out: The Grand Rapids Griffins allowed three unanswered third-period goals on Wednesday night in Texas and fell to the Stars, 5-4. Two of the three third period goals scored by Texas were shorthanded, and Gemel Smith netted his first pro hat trick for the Stars in the win. Eddie Pasquale took the loss after relinquishing five goals on 22 shots while Justin Peters earned the win after giving up four goals on 29 shots.

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