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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (17-28-2-0) vs ONTARIO REIGN (33-10-3-3)
WED., MAR. 9 | 7:00 P.M. | TOYOTA ARENA | ONTARIO, CA
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Reiny Day: After a 6-2 win over the Tucson Roadrunners on Sunday at the SAP Center, the Barracuda hit the road for one game against the Ontario Reign who have won five-straight and are 8-2 over its last 10. Wednesday’s tilt is the final of three inside the Toyota Arena and the fifth on the six-game season series. The Reign have picked up wins in eight-consecutive at home and have points in 13 in a row on home ice (11-0-1-1). Ontario’s overall and home winning streaks are the longest current streaks in the AHL. The Barracuda have points in three-consecutive games (2-0-1-0), matching the longest point streak of the year.
Home Cookin’: Ontario is 19-2-2-2 on home ice this season, with its last regulation home loss coming on Dec. 31. Ontario’s 41 points at home and .840 winning percentage ranks tops in the league. Since the turn of the new calendar year, they are 11-0-1-1 at home, with a +18 goal-differential in those games (59 GF, 41 GA). Ontario is the only team in the AHL with over 100 goals scored at home this year (104), and rank first in the AHL in goals-for-per-game at home this season (4.16). Ontario possesses the AHL’s top home power-play (27/92=29.3), but the AHL’s second-worst home penalty kill (73.5%). Rookie d-man Jordan Spence enters Wednesday riding a 13-game point streak at home (Jan. 2->... 2+16=18) and forward T.J. Tynan is riding an eight-game point streak (Jan. 2->...0+18=18).) at home and an eight-game home assist streak (Jan. 2->...0+18=18). Tynan, the AHL’s MVP in 2021 with the Colorado Eagles, has multiple assists in each of the eight-game during the streak.
J-Leno: After recording just seven points (3+4=7) through his first 20 games this year, second-year forward John Leonard has notched 21 points (13+18=21) since the new year began in 22 games. On 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 recording seven points (5+2=7) in three games. Leonard has now scored in three-straight games for the first time in his career. Since 2022 began, he is pacing all Barracuda skaters in goals (13) and points (21). He joins Joel Kellman (5/2/21), John McCarthy (3/11/16), John McCarthy (2x, 2/19/17, 2/11/16), and Barclay Goodrow (12/6/15) as Barracuda players to win AHL Player of the Week honors. He is also just the third player this season to record a four-point game (Evander Kane (1+3=4) 12/15/21 vs. COL, Sasha Chmelevski (3+1=4) 1/8/22 vs. HSK). Against Ontario, Leonard leads the team with four points (2+2=4).
Mighty Merks: Barracuda forward Nick Merkley notched a pair of points (1+1=2) on Sunday and now has points in five of his last six (4+4=8). Merkley ranks first on the club in game-winning goals (two in the last three games), first in power-play assists (10), first in total assists (21), and second in scoring (31).
Blichy Boiling: Barracuda forward Joachim Blichfeld collected a pair of points (1+1=2) on Sunday and now has goals in two of his last three games. The Denmark native is first on the Barracuda in points (32), second in power-play goals (8), second in shots, third in power-play assists, second in game-winning goals (2)
Montana Tough: Rookie d-man Montana Onyebuchi dropped the mitts for the seventh time on Saturday, scrapping with Stockton’s Alex Gallant at center ice after Onyebuchi threw a thunderous open-ice hit on Heat forward Dmitry Zavgorodniy in the second period. The WHL alum is now t-first among AHL defensemen in majors (7), one behind the league lead. Among rookies, he is first in majors and t-second in penalty minutes (63). After appearing in just seven of the Barracuda’s first 26 games, he has now appeared in 21-straight contests for the team.
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 1,722 games in the AHL, going 805-707-50-160 (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).