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Tonight’s Matchup: The Barracuda and San Antonio Rampage wrap up their two-game season series on Friday after San Jose topped the St. Louis Blues affiliate last Friday, 2-1, at AT&T Center. The Barracuda are 11-5-2-1 all-time against the Rampage and 6-2-1-0 at SAP Center at San Jose.
Divisional Shakeup: This offseason, both San Antonio and Texas moved from the AHL’s Pacific Division to the AHL’s Central Division with the addition of the league's 31st franchise, the Colorado Eagles. Prior to the Eagles joining the AHL, San Antonio had served as the primary affiliate of the Colorado Avalanche over the last three years.
Bibeau Ballin: On Thursday, the AHL announced that Barracuda netminder Antoine Bibeau had been named CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month after allowing just nine goals on 149 shots through five starts (3-1-1) during October. An AHL All-Star a season ago, Bibeau ranks first in the AHL in goals-against average (1.75) and save percentage (.940) among goalies who have appeared in at least five games.
Open the Gates: On Monday, the St. Louis Blues recalled forwards Nikita Soshnikov and Robbie Fabbri, along with defenseman Carl Gunnarsson. In addition, the team recalled goaltender Ville Husso before reassigning him back to San Antonio earlier this week along with 20-year-old defenseman Jordan Kyrou.
Familiar Faces: Klim Kostin, Adam Musil, Sammy Blais, Chris Butler, and Ville Husso are the only holdovers from last years Rampage team. Prior to Sunday’s 3-2 win over Chicago, the Rampage had lost eight in a row.
Letunov’s Loose: Originally a second-round draft pick of the St. Louis Blues, Maxim Letunov has goals in three of his last four games and has been a force up the middle on one of San Jose’s top lines. 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: Rookie forward Jayden Halbgewachs scored on Saturday and now has goals in three of his last four games. The Emerald Park, Saskatoon native has points in all but two games this season for the Barracuda and co-leads the team in points (10) and goals (5). 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.