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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (14-19-1-0) vs ONTARIO REIGN (20-6-3-2)
WED., JAN. 26 | 10:00 A.M. | SAP CENTER | SAN JOSE, CA
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Morning Matchup: For the first time since falling 7-4 at the Toyota Arena on Dec. 17, the Barracuda take on the Ontario Reign on Wednesday morning at the SAP Center. Wednesday’s game marks the second meeting on the six-game season series and the first of three-consecutive against the LA Kings affiliate. The Barracuda went 2-0 against the Reign a season ago at home, with both games being played at Sharks Ice. Ontario has earned a point in each game so far in 2022. The Reign have the AHL’s fourth-best road winning percentage at .625 (7-4-1-0) and will play nine of their next 10 away from home. Ontario’s 12 road contests played is the fewest in the AHL.
Last Time Out: The Barracuda snapped their three-game losing skid with 5-2 win over the streaking Bakersfield Condors on Sunday at the SAP Center. Three players had multiple points including Artemi Kniazev who notched two assists and now has four over his last two games. Defenseman Cole Moberg also had two assists for the first multi-point game of his career, forward Joachim Blichfeld made it goals in three-straight games, and forward John Leonard notched his third goal in his last two outings. The Barracuda finished the game two-for-four on the power-play and three-for-three on the penalty kill. In his first AHL action since Dec. 17, Zachary Sawchenko made 35 saves on 37 shots for his fourth win of the season, snapping a four-game skid. The victory for the Barracuda snapped Bakesfield’s six-game winning streak and 11-game point streak.
Opposing Ontario: The Reign enter Wednesday on an eight-game point streak (6-0-1-1) and have wins in their last two outings and four of their last five. T.J Tynan, the AHL’s MVP from 2021, ranks second in the AHL in scoring (39), first in assists (33), first power-play assists (18), and t-first in power-play points (19). Fellow forward Martin Frk is fifth in the AHL in scoring (36), t-second in goals (18), and second in power-play goals (8). In addition, forward Jaret Anderson-Dolan ranks eighth in power-play goals (8). Goaltender Matt Villalta is t-fifth in wins (12) and 16th in goals-against average (2.70) and rookie defenseman Jordan Spence ranks second among rookie defensemen in scoring (21) and first in power-play assists (11) and power-play points (13). The Reign boast the AHL’s top power-play (30%) and have scored five man-power advantage goals over its last two games, while the clubs’s penalty kill ranks 30th (73%) out of 31 teams. The Reign are averaging a league-best 3.97 goals-for-per-game.
800 for Sommer: 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 1,705 games in the AHL, going 801-698-48-160 (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).
Reedy Rolling: Scott Reedy recorded a power-play goal in Sunday’s win continuing a fantastic rookie year for the Barracuda. The Minnesota alumnus is tied for third in the AHL in goals (17), first in power-play goals, (10) and first in shooting percentage (35.4). In addition, Reedy has skated in his first five games in the NHL this season with the Sharks. Reedy potted a pair of goals in the Barracuda’s 7-4 loss to the the Reign on Dec. 17.
Blichy Boiling: Joachim Blichfeld netted a goal in his third-straight game on Sunday and now ranks t-fifth in the AHL in goals (14) and t-sixth in power-play goals (5). Blichfeld, who led the Barracuda a season ago in scoring, is just two tallies shy of his career-high of 16 goals in which he set in 2019-20 as a rookie. That came in 14 additional games. Blichfeld was injured in the first matchup against the Reign.
Leno Lightning: After scoring just four goals in his first 24 games of the year, John Leonard has notched four goals over his last five games, including three in the last two contests. The sophomore forward played in 44 games with the Sharks a season ago and currently ranks t-first on the team in shorthanded goals (2). Leonard picked up a goal and an assist in the first meeting against Ontario.