GAMEDAY: BARRACUDA VS GULLSJan 20, 2023
SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (16-21-0-2) vs. SAN DIEGO GULLS (11-27-0-0)
FRI, JAN. 20 | 7:00 P.M. | Tech CU Arena | San Jose, CA
Friday Fun: After earning its first win in four tries against the Abbotsford Canucks on Sunday afternoon, 3-2, and in the process snapping a four-game skid (0-3-0-1), the Barracuda wrap up its three-game home stand on Friday with the final visit from the San Diego Gulls (Anaheim Ducks). The Gulls are 0-3 in its last three games after beating the Barracuda on Jan. 11, 5-2.
Land and Sea: In the most recent matchup against San Diego on Jan. 11 at the Pechanga Arena, the Barracuda jumped out to a 2-0 lead after a period, getting goals from Jeff Viel and William Eklund, but San Diego would level the score in the second as Pavol Regenda would tally and then Bo Groulx would tie it up. In the third, Hunter Drew gave the Gulls its first lead at 15:57, and Rocco Grimaldi collected a pair of shorthanded empty-netters to seal the 5-2 win. Lukas Dostal collected the victory by making 29 saves, while Eetu Makiniemi suffered the loss, giving up three goals on 22 shots. The comeback win for the Gulls was their first and only win this season when trailing after the first (1-21-0-0) and second (1-24-0-0) period. The Barracuda are 1-1 against the Ducks top affiliate this season and 1-0 at Tech CU Arena, shutting out the Gulls on Nov. 16 (3-0 W).
Deep Dive: The Gulls (184, 4.84 per game) and Barracuda (181, 4.61 per game) rank first and second in times shorthanded this season. The Barracuda are second in the AHL in penalty minutes per game (18.82), first in minors (227) and third in majors (26). The Gulls are fifth in the AHL in penalty minutes per game (15.63) and second in minors (212). SJ and SD are each a minus-26 in the first period, which ranks tied for second to last (Belleville: -28) in the AHL. The Cuda rank 32nd in goals for (2.46) and 24th in goals against (3.49), while the Gulls rank 30th in goals for (2.63) and 31st in goals against (3.82). In addition, the Gulls are last in the AHL in shots for (26.05) and shots against (33.95). San Jose ranks 25th in the AHL in average age (24.42), while San Diego is 22nd in the league in average age (24.59).
Sunday Summary: The Barracuda matched a season-high with three power-play goals on Sunday, sparking a 3-2 win over the Abbotsford Canucks. William Eklund netted a pair and Derrick Pouliot, in just his second back after missing 24 in a row, scored the game-winner. Eetu Makiniemi made 32 saves to earn his first W since Dec. 4 (4-3 OTW vs. Tucson).
Power of Pouliot: Veteran defenseman Derrick Pouliot returned to the Barracuda lineup on Saturday after a 24-game absence due to an upper-body injury suffered on Nov. 16 against San Diego. The Barracuda are 8-5-0-1 with Pouliot in the lineup this year and 8-16-0-1 without him. In addition, when #55 has played this season, the Barracuda are 91% (55/60) on the PK as opposed to 74% (145/181) without him.
Resounding Rookies: Barracuda All-Star Thomas Bordeleau is pacing all AHL rookies in goals (17), power-play goals (8), and power-play points (16) and is T-fourth in scoring (27), along with fellow teammate William Eklund. Bordeleau (17), Eklund (11), Tristen Robins (9), Gushchin (9), Brandon Coe (3), and Ozzy Wiesblatt (1) have accounted for 50 of the Barracuda’s 96 goals scored (52%), the most among any rookie class this season. Wiesblatt (Rd 1, 31st overall), Bordeleau (Rd 2, 38th Overall), Robins (Rd 2, 56th Overall), Gushchin (Rd 3, 76th Overall), and Coe (Rd 4, 98th Overall) were all part of the Sharks historic nine-forward draft class in 2020.