San Jose Barracuda (27-11-2-4 .682) vs. San Diego Gulls (26-15-3-4 .682)
SATURDAY FEB. 16 | 1:15 PM
SAP Center at San Jose | San Jose, Calif.
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Afternoon Matchup: On Saturday, the San Jose Barracuda and San Diego Gulls connect for the fifth meeting on the eight game season series. Since San Jose beat the Gulls 5-3 on Dec. 3, San Diego has won the last four-consecutive meetings, outscoring San Jose 19-to-eight in those games.
The New Guys: On Tuesday, the Barracuda recalled forward Colby McAuley from the Orlando Solar Bears and signed veteran forward T.J. Hensick from the Toledo Walleye. McAuley skated in Tuesday’s win, registering two penalty minutes. Hensick leads the ECHL in scoring (17 goals, 41 asssits) in 47 games. Among active AHL players, Hensick, 33, is 11th in games played (630), eighth in goals (166), third in assists (402) and second in points (568). The Howell, Michigan native spent the last two years in Ontario with the Reign. In head-to-head matchups against San Jose over the last two seasons, Hensick led Ontario in scoring both seasons (2016-17: 1+7=8, 2017-18: 1+8=9).
Dazzling Dezzy: On Tuesday, sophomore d-man Nick DeSimone netted a late-tying goal to force overtime in an eventual 2-1 San Jose shootout win against Tucson . On Sunday, he collected a pair of helpers and is now third on the Barracuda in points (29), T-fifth in goals (9), third in assists (20) and second in power-play goals (4). DeSimone Is currently riding a five-game point streak (two goals, four assists), the longest such streak of his career. DeSimone is T-12th among all AHL defenseman in points and T-8th in goals.
Sommer-Time: Barracuda Head Coach and Oakland native Roy Sommer earned his 750th AHL win on February 1 at Stockton. Sommer, who is the only coach in the 83 years of the AHL to reach 750 wins, is currently 752-642-48-78-73 over his 20+ years of coaching in the AHL. The AHL’s all-time leader in victories, games coached, and seasons coached was the third Golden State native to make the NHL during his playing career that spanned three games with the Wayne Gretzky-led Edmonton Oilers and became the second Californian to score in the NHL on January 28, 1981, against the Montreal Canadiens.
Star-Studded: The Barracuda were well represented at the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic at the end of January in Springfield, MA. Assistant captain Jake Middleton, winger Francis Perron, goaltender Josef Korenar and head coach Roy Sommer were all in Springfield as Barracuda representatives. Perron co-won the sharp-shooter contest on Sunday after hitting all four targets in six attempts and collected two points (one goal, one assist) in the three-on-three tournament. Middleton finished T-second among all skaters with four points (one goal, three assists) during the three-on-three tournament.
Backstop Bullies: San Jose’s goalie combo of Josef Korenar and Antoine Bibeau have combined for the AHL’s best goals-against average (2.47) and second-best save percentage (.915). The 20-year-old rookie Korenar is second in the AHL in GAA (2.28), T-fifth in SV% (.920), T-6th in wins (16), and T-second in shutouts (3). Bibeau is T-8th in the league in GAA (2.55) and is T-5th in SV% (.915).
Frank the Tank: Acquired from the Ottawa Senators in the Erik Karlsson trade, third-year pro Francis Perron is second on the Barracuda in points (32), first in goals (15), T-fourth in assists (17), first in power-play goals (7), first in shooting percentage (19.5%), second in game-winning goals (3), and first in multi-point games (8). Perron scored the shootout game-winner on Tuesday, the first shootout goal of his career in six attempts.