Mar 12, 2022

SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (18-28-2-1) vs STOCKTON HEAT (34-9-4-1)



Heat Check: The Barracuda and Heat square off for the seventh time on the 10-game season series on Saturday, the second game of a home-and-road, and the third game of four in March. The Barracuda extended its point streak to five games on Friday with a 5-6 shootout loss to the Heat. San Jose is 1-3-1-1 against the Flames affiliate this year and 1-1-1-0 at the Stockton Arena. 


Marching Along: The Barracuda enter Saturday’s game on a season-long five-game point streak (3-0-1-1) and have picked up eight of a possible 10 points to start March after going just 1-6 in February. After San Diego’s 3-0 win at Bakersfield on Friday, the Barracuda enter Saturday’s game three points behind the Gulls for the final playoff spot in the Pacific. The Gulls return to San Diego tonight to take on the Ontario Reign after an eight-game road trip.


Boiling Point: The Heat enter Friday’s game with an AHL-best .755 winning percentage (33-9-4-1) and are two points behind the Ontario Reign with three games in hand in the Pacific Division. After Saturday, the Heat will have 20 games remaining on their regular-season schedule, the third-easiest remaining strength-of-schedule (.539). The Heat are t-third in the AHL in goal differential (+43) and have the best winning percentage in the AHL when scoring the first goal of the game (24-1-3-0=.911). Despite giving up a power-play goal to the Barracuda on Friday, the Heat still boasts the AHL’s best PK (87.2%) in the league. Stockton also is second in the AHL in shorthanded goals (10).


Powering Up: On Wednesday, the Barracuda matched a season-high with three power-play goals in a 4-3 OTW at Ontario, and on Friday, the club went 1-for-4 on the PP, notching its first goal in 16 attempts on the power-play versus the Heat. The ‘Cuda have now potted multiple power-play strikes in three of its last five games and rank seventh in the league on the man-advantage (46/216=21.3%). 


J-Leno: After recording just seven points (3+4=7) through his first 20 games this year, second-year forward John Leonard has notched 25 points (14+11=25) since the new year began in 24 games. Last Sunday, he recorded his first pro hat-trick and added an assist for the first four-point game of his career, culminating in AHL Player of the Week honors after collecting seven points (5+2=7) in three games. Leonard picked up a goal and two assists on Friday and now has points in a career-long five games (6+5=11). Since the new year, he is pacing all Barracuda skaters in goals (14) and points (25). 


All-Day AK: Rookie d-man Artemi Kniazev collected two goals and three total points, both single-game career-highs, in the Barracuda’s 5-6 shootout loss against Stockton on Friday. Since Jan. 22, Kniazev has 14 points (4+10=14) over his last 17 games played.


Sizzlin’ Sash: Sasha Chmelevski collected a career-best three assists on Friday and is now on a four-game point streak (2+4=6). The third-year pro is tied for third on the team in scoring (11+19=30) and has already set career-highs this season in assists, power-play goals (5), game-winning goals (3), shootout goals (2), and shots (102).


Sommer Time: On Jan. 8, 2022, head coach Roy Sommer picked up AHL victory #800 with a 6-3 win over the Henderson Silver Knights. The Oakland, Calif., native has been behind the bench for 1,724 games in the AHL, going 806-707-50-161 (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, notching a 4-2 victory on Feb. 10, 2016, over Ontario. Sommer collected his 700th win on Dec. 3, 2017, at Bakersfield (2-1 W). 

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