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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (17-27-3-2) vs SAN DIEGO GULLS (27-18-5-2)
SATURDAY, FEB 29 | 1:15 P.M. | SAP CENTER | SAN JOSE, CA
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Afternoon Delight: On Saturday afternoon, the Barracuda continue their season-long six-game homestand with a matchup against the San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks), the first of game of a Hockey Day in San Jose doubleheader, as the Sharks take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in the nightcap. The Barracuda are 3-5 against the Ducks affiliate this year and 1-2 at the SAP Center.
Last Time Out: After skating out to a 2-2 tie in the first 40 minutes on Wednesday against the Reign, the Barracuda couldn’t make it back-to-back wins over Ontario, as Giovanni Fiore scored at 10:52 of the third on a breakaway and Blain Bryon sealed the win with an empty-netter at 19:16. Ontario ended the night going 2/4 on the power-play and Josef Korenar suffered the loss, allowing three goals on 24 shots. Manuel Wiederer and Sasha Chmelevski scored in the loss for San Jose.
Major Movement: Following the trade deadline on Monday, the Sharks recalled forward Maxim Letunov and Lean Bergmann and assigned defenseman Nicolas Meloche back to the AHL. In addition, the team assigned newly acquired forward Anthony Greco to the AHL and then recalled Bergmann, again. Greco, a veteran of over 250 AHL games, was traded just four days prior from the Florida Panthers organization to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. A season ago, Greco set the AHL’s all-time record for the fastest skater at the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic in Springfield, MA.
Carrick Cookin’: Barracuda defenseman Trevor Carrick ranks T-third in the AHL in goals (10) among defensemen and first in game-winning goals (4). In addition, Carrick boasts a team-best +14 rating and is a +9 over his last seven games.
Mad Max: Barracuda forward Maxim Letunov scored on Sunday, his second goal in his last three games and fourth over his last five. Letunov leads the team in points (34), assists (22), power-play assists (9) and is T-second in points-per-game (.77). In addition, he is tied for first in power-play goals (4).
Sasha Sizzlin’: Rookie forward Sasha Chmelevski picked up a goal on Wednesday to extend his point streak to three games (two goals, two assists) and now has seven points over his last six games (two goals, five assists). The Southern California native co-leads the team with four power-play goals.
Light-Halb(s): Second-year pro Jayden Halbgewachs recorded a pair of assists on Wednesday, his second-straight multi-point effort and 11th of the year. Halbgewachs is first on the Barracuda in goals (16), second in points (32), third in assists (16) and second in power-play goals (4).
Rookie Rising: Barracuda rookie All-Star Joachim Blichfeld picked up an assist on Saturday and now ranks T-second on the Barracuda in points-per-game (.77) and power-play goals (4) and is third in points (30) and second in goals (15). Among AHL rookies, Blichfeld is T-15th in points.
El Jefe: Jeff Viel saw his career-long three-game goal streak come to an end on Wednesday but the sophomore forward has already surpassed his rookie-season goal totals in 20 fewer games. In addition, Viel leads the Barracuda in penalty minutes (94) and majors (6).
Youth Movement: Despite adding 26-year-old Anthony Greco on Monday, the Barracuda are still the AHL’s youngest roster with an average age of 23.03-years-old. In fact, 14 players on San Jose’s AHL roster have two or fewer years of AHL experience.