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Tonight’s Matchup: For the fourth time this season the Barracuda and Stockton Heat collide as San Jose is 2-1 against the Heat this season but are coming off a 3-2 loss against Stockton in the most recent meeting between the two clubs back on October 21. The regulation defeat is San Jose’s only loss in 60 minutes this season. The Barracuda are 25-11-2-1 all-time against the Flames AHL affiliate and 12-6-0-0 at SAP Center at San Jose. After Monday, San Jose and Stockton will play eight more times, but not again until November 27 at San Jose.
Two-Headed Monster: Barracuda goaltenders Antoine Bibeau (GAA: 1.75, SV%: .940) and Josef Korenar (GAA: 1.80, SV%: .933) rank first and second in the AHL in goals-against average and third and fourth in save percentage. Bibeau, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month for October after allowing just nine goals on 149 shots, is 3-3 in six career games against the Heat. Korenar ranks first among all freshman goaltenders in wins (5-0-0-0) and GAA and is 2-0 in two career starts against Stockton.
Top of the Class: San Jose’s +19 goal differential ranks first in the AHL and their .850 winning percentage is the best mark in the Western Conference.
Letunov’s Loose: Originally a second-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, Maxim Letunov has goals in three of his last five games and has been a force up the middle on one of San Jose’s top lines as he co-leads the team with five tallies. Letunov was traded to the Coyotes from the Blues in March of 2015 and then was shipped to the Sharks in a draft day trade with the Coyotes in 2016.
Fabulous Francis: On September 13, as a part of the Erik Karlsson trade, Francis Perron was acquired from the Ottawa Senators. Thus far, Perron co-leads the Barracuda in points (10), goals (5) and game-winning goals (1) and is first in power-play goals (3).
Hot Halbgewachs: Among AHL rookies, Jayden Halbgewachs is T-fifth in points (10), T-second in goals (5), fourth in shooting percentage (31.1%) and T-first in plus/minus (+7). The 21-year-old was signed by the Sharks as an undrafted free agent last December and earned CHL Top Scorer honors in 2017-18 after collecting 129 points (70 goals, 59 assists) in 72 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL.
Youth Movement: The Barracuda opened up the 2018-19 season with 10 rookies and the AHL’s youngest roster, averaging 22.7 years old. Just 13 players on San Jose’s 25-man opening night roster skated for the Barracuda a season ago. In addition, just three players on the Barracuda’s current roster were drafted by the Sharks (John McCarthy, Manuel Wiederer, Jeremy Roy). The other 21 were either signed as free agents or acquired in a trade.