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Tonight’s Matchup: On Sunday, the San Jose Barracuda and Tucson Roadrunners collide for the eighth and final time this season. The Barracuda are 4-2-0-1 against the Arizona Coyotes affiliate this year and are coming off a 4-3 overtime win in the most recent meeting on March 21.
Century Mark: The Barracuda earned franchise victory 100 with a 4-0 win over the Cleveland Monsters on March 10. The Barracuda joined the Ontario Reign, San Diego Gulls and *Texas Stars (*play 76 game schedule) as Pacific Division teams to reach 100 wins since 2015-16.
Rudy! Rudy! Rudy!: Among rookies, Rudolfs Balcers ranks ninth in the AHL in points, T-11th in goals, and T-12th in assists. On Saturday, Balcers collected his sixth power play goal which ranks him T-first on the team. In addition, Balcers lead the Barracuda in points (28), goals (18), and points-per-game (.71).
Powering Up: On Wednesday, the ‘Cuda potted a pair of man-advantage tallies including the game-winner in overtime to beat Tucson, 4-3. In March, the Barracuda are nine-for-42 (21%) on the PP and five-for-19 (26%) in their last four games. Since March 1, San Jose has moved from 30th on the power play to 23rd in the AHL.
In the Middle: Sophomore defenseman Jake Middleton netted Wednesday’s OT winner in Tucson and now has goals in two of his last three games. The 21-year-old blueliner ranks T-second on the Barracuda in games played (58), third in assists (20), and second in penalty minutes (72), while averaging 20-to-24 minutes a night of ice time, which ranks within the top three on the team.
Sommer-Time: San Jose Barracuda Head Coach and Bay Area native Roy Sommer collected the 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.