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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (17-25-3-2) vs ONTARIO REIGN (26-20-5-1)
WEDNESDAY, FEB. 26 | 7:00 P.M. | SAP CENTER | SAN JOSE, CA
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Wednesday night rivalry: On Wednesday, the Barracuda kick off a season-long six-game homestand as they take on the Ontario Reign in the second game of a home-and-road. The Barracuda are 3-4-0-1 against the Kings affiliate this season and 1-3 at the SAP Center.
Last Time Out: After Matt Luff opened up the scoring for the Reign at 15:46 of the first, Jayden Halbgewachs would answer on the power-play with his team-leading 16th of the year at 18:24. The tally would spark three unanswered from the Barracuda as Maxim Letunov would score early in the second (1:16) and Nikolai Knyzhov would pot his first AHL goal at 15:47 of the second. In the third, up by a pair, the Barracuda’s lead was cut to one as Tobias Bjornfot riffled home a power-play goal from the point but the Barracuda sealed the win with a Lean Bergmann goal at 17:25 and a Jeff Viel empty-netter at 17:44. Zachary Sawchenko made 31 stops to earn the 5-2 victory, his second straight.
Major Movement: Following the trade deadline, the Sharks recalled forward Maxim Letunov and Lean Bergmann and assigned defenseman Nicolas Meloche back to the A. In addition, the team assigned newly acquired forward Anthony Greco to the AHL. A veteran of over 300 AHL games, Greco was traded just four days prior from the Florida Panthers organization to the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. A season ago, Greco set the AHL’s all-time record for the fastest skater at the 2019 AHL All-Star Classic in Springfield, MA.
Carrick Cookin’: Barracuda defenseman Trevor Carrick potted a pair of goals last Monday and now ranks third in the AHL in goals (10) among defensemen and first in game-winning goals (4). With his two goals on Monday, Carrick reached 50 goals and 200 points in his AHL career. In addition, Carrick boasts a team-best +15 rating and is a +10 over his last six games.
Mad Max: Barracuda forward Maxim Letunov scored on Sunday, his second goal in his last three games and fourth over his last five. Letunov leads the team in points (34), assists (22) and is T-first in points-per-game (.79). In addition, he is tied for first in power-play goals (4). On Tuesday, the Sharks recalled 24-year-old.
Rookie Rising: Barracuda rookie All-Star Joachim Blichfeld picked up an assist on Saturday and now ranks T-first on the Barracuda in points-per-game (.79) and power-play goals (4) and second in points (30) and goals (15). Among AHL rookies, Blichfeld is 14th in points.
El Jefe: Jeff Viel extended his goal streak to three games on Sunday, and has already surpassed his rookie-season goal totals in 21 fewer games. Viel leads the Barracuda in penalty minutes (92) and majors (6).
Youth Movement: Despite adding 26-year-old Anthony Greco on Monday, the Barracuda are still the AHL’s youngest roster with an average age of 23.03-years-old. 14 players on the Barracuda’s roster have two or fewer years of AHL experience.