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Heating Up: On Saturday, the Barracuda return home for the first time since Jan. 17 as they play host to the Stockton Heat for the second game of a home-and-home. The Barracuda hold a 4-2-0 mark versus the Calgary Flames affiliate this season and are 1-2 at SAP Center.
Road Warriors: The Barracuda ended their season-long road trip with a 4-1-1 mark after Friday’s win at Stockton and are now 10-8-1-2 on visiting ice. After Saturday, the Barracuda and Heat will face-off two more times in February and six total times in San Jose’s final 27 games.
ALL-Good: Freshman forward, Rudolfs Balcers netted a pair of goals for Team Pacific during the 2018 AHL All-Star Classic on Jan. 29 in Utica. The freshman forward has two goals in each of his last two games and now ranks T-eighth in the AHL among first-year players in points (31), T-10th in assists (19), and T-16thth in goals (12). Balcers leads the Barracuda in points, assists, and goals. The native of Latvia has eight points (four goals, four assists) in six games against Stockton this year, which paces the team. Balcers was roommates with Heat defenseman Rasmus Andersson during the All-Star Weekend.
Mangia Mangia: Sophomore forward Andrew Mangiapane was recalled back to the Calgary Flames on Jan. 30, much to the relief of the Pacific Division. Before the call, Mangiapane was leading the Heat in points (35) and goals (16). Mangiapane has 12 points (six goals, six assists) in five games against the 'Cuda in 2017-18, and 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 15 career games against San Jose. When not in the Heat lineup Stockton is 3-6-1 compared to a 17-10-4 record when in the lineup.
Blueline Bolster: For the AHL’s 22nd youngest team, veteran blueliner Paul Martin has certainly provided San Jose’s backend a veteran boost. The 14-year NHL vet has skated in 859 games in the National League with New Jersey, Pittsburg, and San Jose, collecting 318 points (50 goals, 268 assists), 236 penalty minutes, and a plus-119 rating. Aside from Martin, San Jose does not have a single defenseman with more than three years of pro experience.
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 477 career AHL games with Chicago, Worcester, and San Jose over his nine-year pro career, accumulating 252 points (108 goals, 144 assists), 195 penalty minutes, and a plus-54 rating. McCarthy will leave for South Korea following Monday’s game against Tucson.
All-Star Antoine: In his fourth professional season, and first within the Sharks organization, AHL All-Star Antoine Bibeau, 23, is 14-8-1 in 25 games played with a 2.10 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage. The native of Victoriaville, Quebec is T-second in the AHL in shutouts (3), fifth in goals-against average and T-sixth in save percentage.
Winners For Wiederer: Barracuda rookie forward Manuel Wiederer has four goals this season for San Jose, all game winners.
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 on Dec. 8 at SAP Center against Tucson.
Cuda Call Up: After Sunday’s recall of Danny O’Regan, seven players from the Barracuda’s 2017 Calder Cup playoff roster are now on the San Jose Sharks (Danny O’Regan, Marcus Sorensen, 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.