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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (0-0, 15-15-4-2) vs HENDERSON SILVER KNIGHTS (0-0, 15-15-3-1)
Game 1, Best-of-Three, Divisional Round Semifinal
FRI., MAY 21 | 7:00 P.M. | Orleans Arena | Irvine, CA
LISTEN | WATCH | GAME NOTES | BARRACUDA ALL-TIME PLAYOFF INFO
Playoff Preview: After a 2-1 win over Tucson on Tuesday and a 5-1 win against Colorado on Wednesday in single-elimination play-in action, the Barracuda (15-15-4-2) now kick-off a best-of-three Division Semifinal series with the Henderson Silver Knights (25-13-0-1), AHL affiliate of the Vegas Golden Knights, starting on Friday at the Orleans Arena. During the regular season, the Barracuda went 2-5-0-1 against the top-seeded Knights and 0-4 in Las Vegas.
Scouting Report: Former Sharks prospect now turned Silver Knight Danny O’Regan finished the regular season tied for second in the AHL in points (16+20=36) and rookie Jack Dugan finished 11th in league scoring (10+23=33). While defenseman Ryan Murphy paced all AHL blueliners in points (27) and assists (22). Goaltender Logan Thompson, who was named CCM/Goaltender of the Month for Feb. and March, finished his first AHL season first in goals-against average (1.96), among goalies who appeared in 12 or more games, first in save percentage (.943), second in wins (16), fourth in saves (724) and fifth in minutes played (1349). Thompson went 4-1 against the Barracuda, with his only blemish coming on March 7 at Solar4America Ice (4-2 L).
Depth Scoring: After the Barracuda’s leading goal scorer in the regular season Max Letunov scored in the first period on Wednesday against Colorado, the Barracuda would then get goals from Zach Gallant and Krystof Hrabik. For Gallant, it snapped a 21-game goalless drought and for Hrabik, it was his first AHL goal in his AHL playoff debut. Hrabik would pot an empty-netter as well to finish the game with two goals. Nicolas Meloche collected three points (1+2=3) in the win, scoring an empty-net goal, his first AHL goal in 85 games between the playoffs and regular season. Like both play-in games, the Barracuda will again be without their top four scorers in the regular season.
California Kids: SoCal natives Jake McGrew and Evan Weinger each scored in the Barracuda’s 2-1 single-elimination play-in win over the Tucson Roadrunners on Tuesday. For Weinger, it was his fifth career point (3+2=5) in his fifth career AHL playoff game. For McGrew, it was his first AHL playoff goal in his postseason debut. Both Weinger and McGrew played their youth hockey with the LA Jr. Kings and their junior careers in the WHL. Weinger added an assist in Wednesday’s win over Colorado to continue his point-per-game pace in his AHL playoff career (3+3=6).
World Championship Bound: The Barracuda will be without the services of Sasha Chmelevski (USA), Alex True (Denmark), and Lean Bergmann (Germany) during the playoffs as all three skaters will be headed to Riga, Latvia for the 2021 World Championships. In addition, the team will be without Joachim Blichfeld (injury).
Joe the Wall: Josef Korenar made 32 saves in Wednesday’s win over Colorado and 19 stops in Tuesday’s victory against Tucson. With the Sharks season officially over, the team assigned the goaltender back to the American Hockey League just before the Pacific Division playoffs. Korenar appeared in 10 games with the Sharks this past season, where he made seven starts and went 3-5-0, with a 3.17 goals-against average and a .899 save percentage. Before Tuesday, Korenar’s only AHL postseason action came in 2019 where he appeared in four games against the San Diego Gulls, going 1-3, with a 3.45 goals-against average and a .898 save percentage. During the regular season, Korenar went 1-0 against Henderson, picking up a 4-2 win on March 7.