Mar 24, 2022





Canucks Check: The Barracuda continue their five-game homestand and return to Sharks Ice on Thursday to take on the Abbottsford Canucks for the seventh matchup on the eight-game season series. Thursday marks the first meeting between the teams since the Barracuda beat the Canucks 5-2 on Dec. 5. Abbotsford is currently sitting at the fifth spot in the Pacific Division and has points in five straight (4-0-1-0) and are 7-2-1-0 over its last 10 games. The Canucks rank sixth in the AHL in goals-for (3.34) and seventh in goals-against (2.89).


Trade Winds: The Sharks made multiple moves before Monday’s trade deadline that impacted the Barracuda. The club traded forward Nick Merkley, who was second on the team in scoring and first in assists, to the New York Rangers for veteran d-man Anthony Bitetto. In addition, the org traded goalie Alexei Melnichuk to the Tampa Bay Lightning for former San Diego Gulls forward Antoine Morand. The Sharks also dealt blueliner Jake Middleton to the Minnesota Wild for a fifth-rounder in 2022 and the 2020 AHL Goalie of the Year Kaapo Kahkonen. Middleton is the Barracuda’s franchise leader in penalty minutes (273) and ranks second in games played (228). In corresponding moves, the Sharks recalled forward Sasha Chmelevski and defenseman Ryan Merkley and reassigned goaltender Zachary Sawchenko.


Blistering Blichy: Barracuda forward Joachim Blichfeld collected his 20th goal of the year on Saturday, his second in as many games, and his 10th on the power-play. The third-year pro is the 10th player in franchise history to reach 20+ goals in a year and the first since Alex True (24) and Dylan Gambrell (20) in 2018-19. The Denmark native is just one goal shy of matching Danny O’Regan’s single-season record for the most power-play goals scored in a season, which was set in 2016-17. Blichfeld is second on the team in points (36), first in goals, t-first in power-play goals, first in shots (150), and first in shootout goals (3).


Young Sheldon: Former Texas Stars and Colorado Eagles forward Sheldon Dries has found a nice home in Abbotsford in 2021-22. The fifth-year forward is t-fifth in the AHL in points (57), third in goals (31), and first in power-play goals (15). And in five games against the Barracuda, Dries has seven points (3+4=7) and a +2 rating.


Sparkling Special Teams: The Barracuda went 0-for-4 on the power-play on Tuesday but have notched multiple power-play goals in seven of its last 13 games. The Barracuda’s power-play ranks sixth in the league (21.3%). On the other side, the penalty kill went 3-for-3 on Tuesday and is now 51-for-57 over its last 15 games (89%). Despite not scoring a shorthanded goal since Jan. 14 (John Leonard), the Barracuda still rank t-fifth in the AHL in shorties this season.


Stay in your Lane: Barracuda forward Lane Pederson scored for four consecutive games until Tuesday but has goals in six of his last eight. Pederson has 10 points (6+4=10) in 11 games with the Barracuda and was just one goal shy of tying John McCarthy’s franchise-record five-game goal streak which was set during the 2015-16 season. McCarthy notched points in eight consecutive games (6+6=12) from 2/10/16-to-3/1/16 and buried goals in five-straight games (6) from 2/20/16-to-3/1/16. 


California Connection: Cali natives Jake McGrew (10, 11) and Evan Weinger (10) each reached double-digit goals on Wednesday, joining six other Barracuda skaters to hit the 10-goal plateau. The Barracuda are now 13th in the AHL in goals-for (3.15). McGrew’s career-best five-game (3+3=6) point streak was snapped on Tuesday.


Montana Tough: Rookie d-man Montana Onyebuchi dropped the gloves on Friday for the third time in as many games and now leads all rookies in fighting majors (10) and penalty minutes (106). Onyebuchi is 16 PIMS shy of matching Alex Gallant’s (122) rookie record which was set in the team's inaugural season (2015-16). Due to league rules, Onyebuchi had to serve a one-game suspension on Saturday for accruing his 10th fighting major of the year. Every subsequent fight this season with garner a one-game suspension.


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 1,729 games in the AHL, going 808-709-50-162 (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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