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San Jose Barracuda (17-4-1-3 .760) vs. Tucson Roadrunners (15-8-3-1 .630)
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 22 | 6:00 A.M.
SAP Center at San Jose | San Jose, Calif.
LISTEN | WATCH | GAME NOTES
Tonight’s Matchup: On Saturday, the San Jose Barracuda and Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona Coyotes) connect for the fifth of eight meetings in 2018-19 and the second of a back-to-back on the weekend. San Jose avenged a pair of shutout losses in Tucson in early November with a 4-3 overtime win on Friday and are now 2-2 against the ‘Runners this season. The Barracuda are 6-2-1-1 against Tucson all-time at San Jose and 12-5-1-2 overall.
Home Sweet Home: SJ boasts the AHL’s best home winning percentage (9-1-0-1 = .864) and have won a franchise record seven straight at the Tank. In addition, the Barracuda have a +21 home goal-differential which is the best in the Pacific Division.
Dynamic Duo: Barracuda netminders Antoine Bibeau and Josef Korenar have combined for the AHL’s best goals-against average (2.28) and best save percentage (.921) thus far this season. The 20-year-old rookie, Korenar, is first in the AHL in goals-against average (2.06), second in save percentage (.926) and is T-third in wins (11). Bibeau, the CCM/AHL Goaltender of the Month in October, ranks eighth in the AHL in goals-against (2.53) average and T-sixth in save percentage (.916).
Francis on Fire: Acquired from the Ottawa Senators in the Erik Karlsson trade, Francis Perron is first on the Barracuda in points (26), goals (12), power-play goals (5), shooting percentage (30.9% 1st in the AHL) and is second in plus/minus (+15). After scoring the game winner on Friday and adding an assist, Perron has points (6g, 9a) in 10 of his last 11 games including four multi-point games over that stretch.
True or False? After recording just one goal over his first 13 games, Alex True has eight goals over his last 12, including six over his last eight games. On Sunday, True notched his first four-point (1g, 3a) game of his career and has 14 points (8g, 6a) over his last 12. True is first on the Barracuda in plus/minus (+16), second in points (19) and second in goals (9).
Gambrell Good: Rookie forward Dylan Gambrell scored on Friday and now has goals in four of his last five games. Gambrell has points (4g, 4a) in seven of his last nine, is third on the Barracuda in points-per-game (.83).
Hard Wood: Acquired in an offseason trade with the Arizona Coyotes, Kyle Wood leads the Barracuda in assists (16), T-second in plus/minus (+15) and is T-third in points (17). Wood was an AHL All-Star in 2016-17 and was named an AHL All-Rookie member after totaling 43 points (14g, 29a) with the Tucson Roadrunners.
Dezzy Dueling: Sophomore d-man Nick DeSimone scored for the second straight game on Wednesday and now has points (2g, 4a) in five of his last seven. DeSimone is T-third on the Barracuda in points, T-fourth in goals, third in assists, seventh in plus/minus (+8), and fourth in points-per-game (.74).
Youth Movement: Friday’s tilt pins the AHL’s two youngest teams against one another. San Jose has an average age of 24.25 years old while Tucson’s average age is 23.86. The Barracuda are comprised of 12 rookies and five sophomores.