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SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (20-33-2-2) vs ONTARIO REIGN (35-14-4-3)
WED., MAR. 30 | 10:00 A.M. | SAP CENTER | SAN JOSE, CA
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Home Sick: On Wednesday, the Barracuda wrap up its five-game homestand, searching for its first win over its last five outings. Wednesday’s game is the final meeting on the six-game season series against the Ontario Reign, as the Barracuda are 1-4 against their in-state rivals this year, having been outscored 15-21 in that span. The Barracuda are coming off a 4-3 overtime win against the Reign in the last matchup on March 9 at the Toyota Arena but are 0-2 against the Kings affiliate at home this season, getting outscored 11-2, and have now lost five in a row at home (0-4-0-1), and have just two wins in its last 10 in San Jose. After Wednesday, the Barracuda will have just five games left on home ice during the regular season and 10 games left overall on the campaign.
Reigny Day: The Ontario Reign possess the AHL’s top offensive unit, averaging a league-best 3.98 goals-for and boast the best power-play in the league (25.9%). Defending AHL MVP T.J. Tynan sits second in the AHL in scoring (81), first in assists (68), first in power-play assists (35), and first in power-play points (37) and Martin Frk is second in the AHL in goals (33) and power-play goals (13).
Trade Winds: On Monday before the AHL’s trade deadline, the Barracuda sent veteran d-man Mark Alt to the Rochester Americans for forward Mason Jobst. The week prior, the Sharks made multiple moves before the NHL’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).
Blistering Blichy: Barracuda forward Joachim Blichfeld, who sat out Monday with a lower-body injury, has 21 goals on the year and 10 of them 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 first on the team in points (38), first in goals, t-first in power-play goals, first in shots (166), and first in shootout goals (3).
Montana Tough: Rookie d-man Montana Onyebuchi dropped the gloves on Saturday and now leads all rookies in fighting majors (11) and penalty minutes (113). Onyebuchi is 9 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 Monday for accruing his 11th 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 1,732 games in the AHL, going 808-712-50-162 (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).