Dec 18, 2019

SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (9-13-0-2) vs ONTARIO REIGN (12-11-3-1)




Wednesday Night Rivalry: On Wednesday, the Barracuda host the Ontario Reign for the fifth meeting on the 12-game season series. The Barracuda are 1-2-0-1 against the Kings affiliate this year and 0-1 at the Tank.  

Last Time Out: The Barracuda put a season-high 49 shots on net on Sunday in Stockton but could only generate goals from Nick DeSimone and Lukas Radil and eventually fell 5-2. In the loss, former Barracuda forwards Buddy Robinson and Alex Gallant each scored and Stockton’s leading scorer Matt Phillips netted a pair.

Sommer Time: After 22 seasons in the AHL, Roy Sommer earned a promotion to the Sharks last Wednesday, being named the team’s associate coach, after Pete DeBoer and a majority of his staff were relieved of their duties. Sommer, 62, is the AHL’s all-time leader in wins (773), games coached (1,570), and seasons coached (22). Assistant coaches Michael Chiasson and Jimmy Bonneau were appointed co-coaches of the Barracuda on Friday. In addition, Mike Ricci and Evgeni Nabokov were also promoted to the Sharks.

Blichfeld is Back: After appearing in his first two NHL games this past week, the Sharks reassigned Joachim Blichfeld to the Barracuda on Tuesday. Prior to his recall, the 21-year-old had recorded three-straight multi-point efforts and still leads the team in goals (9), second in points (19) and tied for first in power-play goals (3). Among AHL rookies, Blichfeld is second in points-per-game (.95), among skaters who have appeared in seven or more games, eighth in scoring, seventh in goals and T-fourth in power-play goals. Last year, Blichfeld led the WHL in scoring (53 goals, 61 assists) and was named the WHL Player of the Year (Four Broncos Trophy) as a member of the Portland Winterhawks. The Sharks selected the Denmark native with the second-to-last pick (210th) in the 2016 NHL draft.

Maxed Out: Sophomore forward Max Letunov collected points in each of the Barracuda’s games over the weekend and now leads the team in points (20), tied for first in power-play goals (3) and is first in game-winners (2). Letunov has points in 10 of his last 11 games (3+11=14) and had a career-high seven-game point streak from November 17 to December 6. The Sharks originally acquired Letunov from the Arizona Coyotes in a draft-day trade in 2016.

Blueline Bolster: Sophomore blueliner Thomas Gregoire is third on the Barracuda in points (18), first in assists (15), third in power-play goals and fourth in points-per-game (.82). Among AHL defensemen, Gregoire is T-seventh in points, T-sixth in assists, and fifth in points-per-game among skaters who have appeared in 18 or more games. 

 Youth Movement: The Barracuda are the AHL’s youngest roster with an average age of 22.79-years-old. No other team in the league is under 23-years-old. In fact, six players on the 'Cuda roster are 21-years-old or younger, including two players under 21 (Sasha Chmelevski [20] and Ivan Chekhovich [20]).

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