SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (5-3-2-0) at BAKERSFIELD CONDORS (6-5-0-0)
FRIDAY MAR. 12 | 6:00 P.M. | Mechanics Bank Arena | Bakersfield, CA
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Bak to Work: The Barracuda and Condors kick of the first of four-straight games against each other on Friday and the first of two consecutive games at the Mechanics Bank Arena in Bakersfield. Friday marks the second meeting on the 10-game season series between the Pacific Division foes. The Barracuda enter the game with points in three consecutive games (2-0-1), while the Condors are riding the AHL’s second-longest current winning streak. The Condors shutout the Barracuda 6-0 in the first meeting on March 3.
Blichfeld is Back: The Sharks assigned second-year pro Joachim Blichfeld back to the Barracuda on Wednesday. During his recall, Blichfeld skated in two games for the Sharks and was given a two-game suspension by the NHL for an illegal check to the head of Avalanche forward Nathan McKinnon on March 3. Before his recall, Blichfeld had recorded points in five-consecutive games (6+3=9) and goals in three-straight appearances (five goals over that span). Despite missing the Barracuda’s last four games, Blichfeld still leads the team in points (9) and goals (6).
Bakersfield Buzzing: After beginning the season 0-5, the Bakersfield Condors have won their last six consecutive games, outscoring their opponents 27-to-six during the winning streak. Before their 3-1 victory over the San Diego Gulls on Wednesday, the Condors had collected a power-play goal in five-straight games (5/16=31%) and dating back to Feb. 13 (0-3 L vs. Henderson) the Condors have killed off 18-straight on the penalty kill. During the winning streak, Bakersfield has scored the first goal in each game and has not given up a first-period goal over the six games, outscoring their opponents 11-to-0 in the opening-20 minutes.
Gregor Grilling: On Tuesday, Noah Gregor beat Lukas Dostal of the San Diego Gulls just 11 seconds into the first period, setting a new franchise record for the quickest goal to start a game. The Barracuda would win the contest 4-2 and Gregor, who was assigned to the AHL earlier in the afternoon from the Sharks, would finish with a pair of points (1+1=2) and the game’s first star. Gregor has skated in 15 games with the Sharks this year, scoring three times.
Up and Down: The Sharks recalled centermen Antti Suomela and Fredrick Handemark on Thursday from the Barracuda. For Suomela, 26, it marks his first recall of the year. Due to the delayed AHL and NHL start, Suomela began the year in Finland, appearing in 10 games with HIFK (Liiga), collecting five points (2+3=5). He currently ranks firsts on the Barracuda in shots (28) and power-play points/assists (3). In 10 games with the Barracuda, the third-year Shark’ has six points (1+5=6). Handemark, 27, scored twice on Tuesday in the Barracuda’s 4-2 win over San Diego and leads the club with a plus-six rating. Handemark has seven points (3+4=7) in 10 games with the Barracuda this year. The first-year Shark', made his NHL debut on Jan. 18 at St. Louis. Handemark, like Suomela, began the year in Europe, skating in 25 games with the Malmo Redhawks (SHL), totaling 15 points (6+9=15).
Halbs Heating Up: Jayden Halbgewachs scored again on Tuesday and now has three goals over his last three games after scoring just one time over his first six games of the year. The third-year pro leads the team in power-play goals (2) and game-winning goals (3), and is second on the team in goals (4) and shots (26).