Apr 18, 2024

SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (23-33-10-4, 57 pts.) vs. TUCSON ROADRUNNERS (42-23-3-2, 89 pts.)

FRI, APR. 19 | 7:00 P.M. | Tucson Convention Center | Tucson, AZ



Roadrunners Wrap: On Friday, the Barracuda begin a two-game set with the Tucson Roadrunners (Arizona Coyotes) to close out the 2023-24 season. The Barracuda are 2-4 versus the Roadrunners this season and 0-2 at the Tucson Convention Center. The Barracuda are coming off a 4-0 win in the last matchup against Tucson on March 24 at Tech CU Arena. In the win, Eetu Makiniemi made 27 saves for his third shutout of the year, and the Barracuda scored three of its four goals on the power play as Danil Gushchin, Cole Cassels, Oskar Lindblom, and Ethan Cardwell all found the back of the net. The Barracuda enter Friday riding a season-high four-game point streak (2-0-1-1).


Last Time Out: In the Barracuda’s home finale on Saturday afternoon at Tech CU Arena, they jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the second period on the Texas Stars after Danil Gushchin scored on the power play, extending his goal streak to four games. But the Stars managed to tie it at 1-1 early in the third off a Matej Blumel goal and then Blumel would seal the win with an overtime winner at 1:49. Magnus Chrona made a career-high 38 saves in the loss. 


Head-to-head: Shakir Mukhamadullin leads both teams in head-to-head points (10) and assists (8), while Tucson’s Josh Doan is pacing the season series in goals (4). The Barracuda are nine-for-27 on the power play (33.3%) against the Roadrunners this season, the best percentage against any team this year. Lifetime the Barracuda are 27-18-3-4 against the Roadrunners and 12-8-1-2 on the road. Entering Friday, the Barracuda have won two-of-three versus Tucson. In the last matchup on March 24, the two teams combined for 158 penalty minutes, the most since the Barracuda and Roadrunners combined for 170 penalty minutes on Oct. 29, 2022 (170).


Roadrunners Rolling: Tucson enters Friday having won five in a row, matching the longest winning streak of the year, and are currently sitting at the second spot in the Pacific Division. If the standings were to hold through the weekend, Tucson would host the Calgary Wranglers in a best-of-three series to begin the Calder Cup Playoffs. The Roadrunners' top two scorers, Josh Doan and Aku Raty, are both up in the NHL with the Yotes, but are expected to rejoin the team in time for the postseason. Despite not playing in the AHL since March 24, Doan is first in goals (26) among rookies, first in power-play goals (10), T-first in game-winning goals (8), and T-sixth in points. Netminder Matt Villalta is first in the league in wins (30), minutes played (2988), and second in saves (1309). 


Fil the Thrill: Sharks 2022 first-rounder Filip Bystedt picked up an assist on Saturday and now has six points (2+4=6) in his first six games with the Cuda, including points in his last three (1+2=3). The 20-year-old collected three points (2+1=3) in his AHL debut on April 3 in San Diego, becoming just the third player in franchise history to score three points and two goals in his AHL debut (Dylan Gambrell ’18-19, Evan Weinger ’18-19). Before joining the Barracuda, Bystedt skated in 47 games with Linkoping of the SHL, recording 17 points (8+9=17) and a plus-six rating.


Incoming Call: The Sharks recalled forward Danil Gushchin, defenseman Jack Thompson, and goaltender Georgi Romanov following the Barracuda’s game on Saturday. Before being recalled, Gushchin made it goals in his last four games, one shy of the franchise record. On Monday, Guschin was named the AHL's Player of the Week after collecting six points (3+3=6) in three games for the period ending on April 14. Gushchin now has points in 11 of his last 12 (6+11=17) in the AHL. On Monday, Gushchin scored the Sharks' first goal in a loss to the Oilers and now has four points (2+2=4) in five career NHL games. Thompson, who the Sharks acquired from the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Anthony Duclair trade, is first among AHL blueliners in power-play points (24) and power-play assists (21), fifth in assists (35), and T-eighth in points (41). Romanov had allowed two or fewer goals in three of his last four games and had a 1.70 goals-against and .955 save percentage during that stretch before receiving the call-up. Romanov made his NHL debut in relief on Monday in Edmonton, making 15 saves on 16 shots in 26:11 of action.


Full Deck: Ethan Cardwell scored twice on Wednesday, his first multi-goal game of his career, and in the process matched the franchise record for goals (23) in a season for a rookie. Among AHL freshmen, he is fourth in goals and T-ninth in points (43). Since March 16, Cardwell has 14 points (8+6=14) in his last 14 games.


Todd’s Time: Nathan Todd potted his 50th career AHL goal on Wednesday and added a pair of assists. He is now just one goal shy of 100 in his pro career (AHL: 50, ECHL: 49). Wednesday was his sixth three-point game of the season and 11th ever. The 28-year-old has set personal bests this season in goals (19), assists (35), points (54), power-play goals (6), and shots (183). Among Cuda skaters, he is T-first in scoring, assists and power-play goals, and third in goals.

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