SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (3-2-1-0) at BAKERSFIELD CONDORS (2-5-0-0)
WEDNESDAY, MAR. 3 | 6:00 P.M. | Mechanics Bank Arena | Bakersfield, CA
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On the Road Again: On Wednesday, the Barracuda kick off a three-game road-trip in Bakersfield, marking the first meeting of 2021 between the two teams after their previously scheduled matchup was postponed on Feb. 25 due to Covid protocols. San Jose has not faced off against the Condors since picking up a 5-2 victory on Feb. 16, 2020. San Jose holds lifetime record of 22-13-2-3 against Bakersfield after going 4-4 in 2019-20. Both teams enter Wednesday coming off back-to-back wins.
Let’s Go Streaking: Antti Suomela enters Wednesday’s game against the Condors riding a five-game point streak. Suomela notched an assist on Sunday to keep his streak alive and now ranks tied for second on the team with five points (1G + 4A).
We Have Movement: Five Barracuda players were recalled to the Sharks on Tuesday, including goaltender Josef Korenar who went 2-0 over the weekend, and Barracuda leading scorer Joachim Blichfeld (6G + 3A). Blichfeld extended his point streak to five games on Sunday with a pair of goals and now ranks third in the league in that department. Nick DeSimone, Kurtis Gabriel, and Joel Kellman were also called up to the Sharks.
Back to the Barracuda: With five players going up to the Sharks on Tuesday, the team also announced the reassignment of five players to the Barracuda. The Barracuda will get goaltender Alexei Melnichuk, forwards Sasha Chmelevski, Noah Gregor and Stefan Noesen and defenseman Nicolas Meloche. Melnichuk started the season with the Barracuda, going 0-1-1 in the team’s first two games. Chmelevski (two games played) and Meloche (five games played), both Barracuda regulars last season, made their NHL debuts for the Sharks earlier this season, each recording an assist so far. Gregor has registered three goals in 13 appearances for the Sharks this year. Noesen was reassigned to the Barracuda after making his AHL season Debut in Sunday’s win.
Names to Remember: Bakersfield dropped the first five games of the 2020-21 campaign but responded with two wins, thanks in large part to their goaltender Stuart Skinner. Skinner, the 2017 Edmonton Oilers draft selection, has played well this season collecting both of the team’s wins while boasting a 2.01 GAA. Last season, Skinner earned a 4-1 record against the Barracuda. Familiar faces Cooper Marody and Joe Gambardella lead the way with five points each for Bakersfield.
New Faces: Once again in 2020-21, the Barracuda will boast one of the youngest rosters in the AHL. In total, there were 14 rookies on San Jose’s opening-night roster, and nine different players made their AHL debut. The group of first-year pros is headlined by 2018 draft-pick Ryan Merkley (round one, 21st overall).