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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (0-0-0-0) vs. BAKERSFIELD CONDORS (1-0-0-0)
SUN., OCT. 17 | 5:00 P.M. | Mechanics Bank Arena | Bakersfield, CA
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First of Many: The Barracuda open the 2021-22 season, the club’s seventh in its history, on Sunday in Bakersfield. The Sharks’ top affiliate boasts a 2-3-1-0 lifetime record in openers and are 1-1-1-0 on the road in opening games. Last year, the Barracuda went 3-4-1-2 against the Condors and were 0-3-1-1 at the Mechanics Bank Arena. The Barracuda will face Bakersfield 10 times this upcoming campaign.
First Taste: The Condors opened the 2021-22 season on Saturday against the AHL’s newest members, the Abbotsford Canucks, handing Vancouver’s top affiliate a 5-3 loss. In the win, 36-year-old vet Adam Cracknell scored twice while Stuart Skinner turned aside 19 shots to collect the victory. The Condors killed off both of Abbotsford’s power-play attempts and went one-for-five themselves on the man-advantage.
Sommer Time: Head Coach Roy Sommer returns for his AHL-best 24th season in 2021-22 and his 26th within the Sharks organization. The Oakland, Calif. native has been behind the bench for 1,674 games, going 788-679-48-159 (W-L-T-OTL/SOL) over that span. During the 2015-16 season, the Barracuda’s first in San Jose, Sommer surpassed Fred “Bun” Cook (636 wins) for the most wins in AHL history in a 4-2 win over the Ontario Reign on Feb. 10, 2016.
Back in Bako: The AHL’s leading scorer from a season ago, Cooper Marody, returns to Bakersfield for his fourth campaign in blue and orange. A season ago, Marody totaled 21 goals, 15 assists, and a shooting-percentage of 20.2%. Also back in Condors Town is netminder Stuart Skinner who led the AHL a season ago with 20 wins and two shutouts. Skinner also finished sixth in goals-against average (2.38) and save percentage (.914)
Showtime: Of the team’s 24 players on its opening night roster, 12 have NHL experience, including forwards Noah Gregor, Dylan Gambrell, and John Leonard who each played over 30 games a season ago with the Sharks. This offseason, the Sharks added veteran AHL d-man Mark Alt and former Coyotes first-rounder, Nick Merkley, to deepen the organization’s depth. Of the team’s 24 players, seven are entering their first pro season in North America. The Barracuda will once again have the youngest roster (23.11) entering the 2021-22 season and third fewest AHL games played (2,147).