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Tonight’s Matchup: On Wednesday, the San Jose Barracuda and Stockton Heat collide for the fifth of 12 matchups this season and the fourth at SAP Center. San Jose is 3-1-0-0 against the Calgary Flames affiliate this year and 2-1-0-0 on home ice. San Jose has more wins over the last three years (19-7-1-1) against the Heat than any other team and are 12-3-0-0 at SAP Center all-time.
Blueline Bolster: The San Jose Sharks reassigned veteran blueliner Paul Martin to the Barracuda on Tuesday after clearing waivers. Martin appeared in four games with the Barracuda during a rehab stint in December, collecting one assist, and a plus-one rating. Over a 14-year NHL career, Martin has skated in 859 games with New Jersey, Pittsburg, and San Jose, collecting 318 points (50 goals, 268 assists), 236 penalty minutes, and a plus-119 rating.
Man-Child: The Flames reassigned forwards Ryan Lomberg, Marek Hrivik, and Andrew Mangiapane to the Stockton Heat on Monday. Mangiapane leads the Heat with 10 points (four goals, six assists) in four games against the Barracuda this season. In 16 career games against San Jose, the former Barrie Colt’ forward has 18 points (six goals, 12 assists), which is the most among Stockton skaters over the last two years. Mangiapane appeared in seven game during he recall with the Flames, recording zero point, and a minus-two rating.
Sorensen’s Services: The San Jose Sharks loaned forward Marcus Sorensen to the Barracuda on Sunday and in his first game back in the AHL he was able to assist on San Jose’s game winning-goal by Nick DeSimone in overtime against Bakersfield. Sorensen has appeared in 18 games with the Sharks AHL affiliate this season, collecting 15 points (five goals, 10 assists), 14 penalty minutes, and an even rating. Also, Sorensen has skated in 15 games for the Sharks, totaling three goals, five penalty minutes, and a minus-three rating.
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 470 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-53 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 10-7-0 in 19 games played with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .919 save percentage. The native of Victoriaville, Quebec is T- second, on behind Stockton’s Jon Gillies (3), 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. His first goal of his career came at Stockton on Oct. 7.
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.