GAMEDAY PREVIEW: BARRACUDA VS GULLSApr 22, 2019
San Jose Barracuda (1-1) vs. San Diego Gulls (1-1)
MON, APR. 22 | 7:00 PM
SAP Center at San Jose | San Jose, CA
Playoff Primer: After Thursday’s 5-3 win at San Diego, the Barracuda return to the SAP Center on Monday tied at 1-1 in their best-of-five divisional semifinal matchup against the Gulls. The Barracuda are the only team in the AHL’s Pacific to reach the dance in all four years of its existence. During the regular season, San Jose went 4-5-0-1 against SD and 3-1 in the final four meetings. The Barracuda are 11-14 in Calder Cup playoff games all-time and 2-3 in playoff series. In the only prior playoff meeting, San Jose went 4-1 against the Gulls in the 2017 Divisional Final, including winning all three games in San Diego to close out the round.
Bouncing Back: After falling 6-5 in overtime on Wednesday, the Barracuda bounced back on Thursday in San Diego to even the series and flip home-ice advantage back in their favor. Evan Weinger finished with three points (two goals, one assist), while Ivan Chekhovich, Jon Martin, and Jayden Halbgewachs also chipped in with goals. Josef Korenar stopped 27 of 30 in his first playoff start and the game ended with a combined 54 penalty minutes being assessed in the final minute of play.
Winning Pedigree: Nine different skaters on San Jose’s roster boast winning pedigrees at the junior, NCAA or international ranks (T.J. Hensick – CCHA, Rourke Chartier – WHL, Alex True – WHL, Jeffrey Viel – QMJHL/Memorial Cup, Antti Suomela – Finnish Elite League Champion, Francis Perron – QMJHL, John McCarthy – NCAA, Dylan Gambrell – NCAA, Antoine Bibeau – QMJHL). Prior to Wednesday, 11 Barracuda skaters had Calder Cup playoff experience under their belt.
That’s a Wrap: San Jose finished up the year with a regular-season record of 39-22-4-4 (H:22-1-1-1/R: 17-12-2-3), the second-best in franchise history. San Jose was a plus-30 goal differential, scoring 41 more goals than they did a season ago.
Rookie Rising: California native Evan Weinger became just the second Barracuda rookie to record two goals in a Calder Cup playoff game when he netted a pair on Thursday and just the third rookie to collect three or more points in a game. Weinger leads San Jose in points (4), T-first in goals (2) and T-first in assist (2) through two games. During the regular season, Weinger finished with 22 points (11 goals, 11 assists) in 60 games.
True That: San Jose forward Alex True concluded his stellar sophomore regular-season just one goal shy and three points shy of Barracuda single-season watermarks in both categories. The Denmark native set a new franchise record with six game-winning goals. True finished the regular season first on the Barracuda in points (55), first in goals (24), second in assists (31) and third in shots (142).
Dynamic Dezy: Nick DeSimone’s 14 goals during the regular season tied him with Tim Heed for the most in a single season for a Barracuda d-man. Among all AHL defensemen during the regular season, DeSimone finished T-seventh in points (46), T-sixth in goals, T-12th in assists (32), T-ninth in power-play goals (5) and T-11th in shots (154).
Gambo Good: Through two playoff games, Dylan Gambrell is T-second on the team in points (one goal, two assists). During the regular season, among AHL rookies, Gambrell finished T-10th in the league in points (45), T-fifth in goals (20), T-13th in shots (147) and ninth in points-per-game (.88). Gambrell also skated in eight games up top with the Sharks.
Henner Heating Up: On Wednesday, T.J. Hensick collected his second career three-point effort (one goal, two assists) in the Calder Cup playoffs. During the regular season, the 12-year vet finished with 20 points (six goals, 14 assists) in 23 games, including five multi-point outings.