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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (11-13-1-0) vs STOCKTON HEAT (18-3-2-1)
SUN, JAN. 2 | 1:00 P.M. | SAP CENTER AT SAN JOSE | SAN JOSE, CA
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Feeling ‘22: After a 4-0 win against the Heat on New Year’s Eve, the Barracuda will square off against Stockton again on Sunday afternoon, the fourth meeting on the 10-game season series. Friday’s loss was Stockton’s first regulation home loss this year and it snapped a four-game winning streak and eight-game point streak. Despite Friday’s result, the Heat still sit atop the Pacific Division and Western Conference. Stockton won the only other meeting at the SAP Center this year, 4-1, on Nov. 3. and dating back to the 2018-19 season, the Heat have won six-straight games at the Shark Tank. The last home win against Stockton came on March 19, 2019 (5-4, SOW).
Friday’s Fun: The Barracuda’s 4-0 win on Friday was the team’s first blank sheet since Jan. 8, 2020, vs. Ontario (9-0 W), the fourth all-time shutout against the Heat and first since Jan. 14 at Stockton (2-0 W). It was also the organization’s 30th in franchise history. In the victory, Sam Harvey, in his AHL season debut, turned aside all 30 shots he faced to collect his first American League shutout, while Joachim Blichfeld potted a pair, Nick Merkley chipped in with a goal and an assist, and Evan Weinger potted his second shorthanded goal of the year.
Sommer Time: After Friday’s win, Head Coach Roy Sommer sits just one victory shy of 800 in his career. The Oakland, Calif., native has been behind the bench for 1,698 games in the AHL, going 799-692-48-160 (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).
Heat Check: The Stockton Heat sit at the second spot in the AHL with a 18-3-2-1 record. Their power-play is ninth-best in the league (20.6%) and their penalty-kill ranks first (90.7%) and has killed off 30-straight.
Sparkling Special Teams: The Barracuda’s power-play ranks sixth in the league (20.9 %) entering Sunday but are 0-for-9 in three games against the Heat. On the flip side, San Jose's ended a stretch of 12-straight games in which they allowed a power-play goal, going 4-for-4 on Friday. The Barracuda also notched another shorthanded goal on Friday, the team's AHL-best sixth shorthanded goal this year.
Reedy Rolling: Rookie forward Scott Reedy ranks first among all AHL skaters in power-play goals (8), first in shooting percentage (13/37=35.1%) and is tied for third in goals (13). Prior to turning pro, Reedy led the Minnesota Golden Gophers in goals the last two seasons. Reedy has four points (2+4=6) in the last five games. He did not play on Friday while in COVID-19 protocol but is expected to return to the Barracuda's lineup on Sunday.
Major Movement: The Sharks recalled six players from the Barracuda on Saturday (Jayden Halbgewachs, Jaycob Megna, Alexei Melnichuk, Ryan Merkley, Nick Merkley, and Jasper Weatherby) in preparation for their four-game road trip that will begin in Pittsburgh on Sunday.
Getting Healthy: Sasha Chmelevski, Scott Reedy, Patrick Holway, Mark Alt, and Joe Garreffa were all lifted from the AHL COVID-19 protocol list on Saturday. For Chmelevski, Sunday will be his 100th career AHL game.