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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (2-1-1-0) vs STOCKTON HEAT (4-1-0-0)
WED., NOV. 3 | 7:00 P.M. | SAP Center at San Jose | San Jose, CA
LISTEN | WATCH | GAME NOTES
Heat is On: After not facing each other in 2020-21, the Barracuda and Stockton Heat square off on Wednesday for the first time since March 10, 2020, marking a 603-day gap between games. Wednesday’s outing is the first of 10 on the season series. The Barracuda are 34-19-3-2 lifetime against the Flames’ affiliate and 18-10-1-0 at the SAP Center. The Barracuda and Heat were supposed to meet on Sunday, but the game was postponed due to COVID-19 protocols affecting the Barracuda.
Heat Check: Heat forward, and 2019 first rounder, Jakob Pelletier is off to a strong start in his first season of pro. Through four games, the Quebec native has seven points (2+5=7) which ranks T-first among all Stockton skaters. In 2020-21, Pelletier earned First All-Star honors in the QMJHL and skated for Team Canada at the 2021 World Junior Championships, earning a silver medal.
Frenemies: After being traded from the Sharks to the Golden Knights during last season’s trade deadline, and eventually finishing up the year in Rochester with the Americans, former Barracuda defenseman Nick DeSimone inked a one-year, two-way deal with the Calgary Flames this past summer. So far, DeSimone has four points (1+3=4) through five games with the Heat. In Cuda franchise history, DeSimone ranks fourth in games played (190), points (91) and assists (65).
First of Many: On Tuesday, Sharks d-man prospect Ryan Merkley scored his first NHL goal in a 5-3 win over the Buffalo Sabres.. The second-year pro has gotten off to a fabulous start with the Barracuda, earning assists in each of his last three games and ranks T-third among league defenders in helpers (4). Merkley has averaged over 25 minutes per-game so far this season which leads the team.
Powering Up: After beginning the season 0-for-7 on the power-play through the team’s first two games, the Barracuda have scored two PP goals in each of its last two outings. Nick Merkley, who leads the Barracuda with five points (2+3=5), has been in on half (1+1=2) of those. The Barracuda also have man-advantage tallies from Scott Reedy, John Leonard and Noah Gregor.
Sommer Time: Head Coach Roy Sommer returns for his AHL-best 24th season in 2021-22 and his 26th within the Sharks organization. The Oakland, Calif. native has been behind the bench for 1,678 games, going 790-680-49-159 (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 in a 4-2 win over the Ontario Reign on Feb. 10, 2016.
Reinforcements: With the Sharks having multiple COVID positives over the last handful of days, the Barracuda were forced to restock their roster by recalling goalie Zach Emond, Defenseman Montana Onyebuchi, and forwards Jake McGrew and Kyle Topping from the ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears on Monday. The team then announced on Wednesday morning the signing of former Sharks draftee Adam Parcells from the Indy Fuel (ECHL) and Alec Rauhauser from the Greenville Swamp Rabbits (ECHL). The Roster now stands at 13 forwards, eight defense and three goalies.