LISTEN | WATCH | GAME NOTES
Tonight’s Matchup: On Friday, the San Jose Barracuda and Texas Stars collide for the third of four matchups on the season and the final meeting at SAP Center. San Jose is 1-0-0-1 against the Stars this season and 4-1-0-1 all-time against the Dallas Stars top affiliate on home ice. On November 5, the last time San Jose and Texas battled, Marcus Sorensen netted his first pro hat-trick and the Barracuda won 6-1.
About Last Night: Troy Grosenick steered away 38 shots, and Joakim Ryan forced overtime with 7.2 seconds left in regulation, but the Bakersfield Condors claimed the additional point in a shootout, 4-3. Josh Currie lit the lamp three times for his third AHL hat-trick and the sixth in Condors history. Rudolfs Balcers and Alex True also scored for San Jose in the loss. Currie hat-trick was the third hat-trick giving up by San Jose this season after not giving a single one up a season ago.
Reindeer Games: Freshman forward, Rudolfs has three goals over his last two games and now ranks T-eighth in the AHL among first-year players in points (20), and T-fifth in assists (14). Balcers leads the Barracuda in points, goals, assists, and power play goals (4). A season ago, Balcers led all WHL rookies in goals (40) with the Kamloops Blazers. The Sharks selected the Latvian forward in the fifth round (#142 overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Bibeau’s Block Party: Barracuda netminder Antoine Bibeau ranks fifth in the AHL in goals-against average, 13th in save percentage (.916), and T-first in shutouts (2). Bibeau spent the first three season of his pro career within the Toronto Maple Leafs organization before signing with San Jose as a free agent this offseason. Bibeau has not faced Texas in his career.
Blue-Line Bulster: 15-year NHL veteran Paul Martin was assigned to the Barracuda last Sunday for conditioning and made his minor league debut on December 12 in Tucson and recorded his first AHL assist on December 13 against the Roadrunners. Martin has skated in 859 games in the NHL career with New Jersey, Pittsburgh, and San Jose. Martin has appeared in just three games with the Sharks this season due to injury.
Ryan Returns: The Sharks assigned defenseman Joakim Ryan to the Barracuda on Monday, the New Jersey native scored and added an assist in the Barracuda’s 4-3 overtime loss at Bakersfield on Thursday. One of the top blueliners in the AHL a season ago, Ryan skated in the Barracuda’s opener on Oct. 7 before being recalled to the NHL where he appeared in 24 games for the Sharks, totaling three assists, four penalty minutes and a plus-two rating. Ryan has skated in 130 AHL games over his three-year professional career, accumulating 81 points (13 goals, 63 assists), 69 penalty minutes, and a plus-36 rating.
700 For Sommer: San Jose Barracuda Head Coach and Bay Area native Roy Sommer collected his 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 last on Dec. 8 at SAP Center against Tucson.
Cuda Call Up: After Danny O’Regan’s recall, six players from the Barracuda’s 2017 Calder Cup playoff roster are now on the San Jose Sharks (Danny O’Regan, Marcus Sorensen, Tim Heed, Barclay Goodrow, Timo Meier, and Kevin Labanc). A season ago, the Barracuda finished with the Western Conference’s best regular season winning percentage (.699) and advanced to the Conference Finals before being eliminated by the Grand Rapids Griffins in five games.