March 3, 2021
SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (3-2-1-0) around BAKERSFIELD CONDORS (2-5-0-0)
WEDNESDAY, MARCH. 3 | 6 p.m. | Mechanics Bank Arena | Bakersfield, CA.
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On the road again: On Wednesday, the Barracuda will start a road trip with three games in Bakersfield. This will be the first meeting of the two teams in 2021 after the previously scheduled February 25 matchup was postponed due to Covid protocols. San Jose has not faced the Condors since their 5-2 win on February 16, 2020. San Jose holds a life record of 22-13-2-3 against Bakersfield after beating 4-4 in 2019-20. Both teams start with two wins on Wednesday.
Let’s go: Antti Suomela will face the Condors on Wednesday with five points. Suomela got a template on Sunday to keep his streak alive and is now second on the team with five points (1G + 4A).
We’re moving: Five Barracuda players were called back to the Sharks on Tuesday, including goalkeeper Josef Korenar, who scored 2-0 over the weekend, and Barracuda’s top scorer, Joachim Blichfeld (6G + 3A). Blichfeld extended his series of points on Sunday with two goals to five games and now occupies third place in the league of this division. Nick DeSimone, Kurtis Gabriel and Joel Kellman were also called to the Sharks.
Back to the Barracuda: After five players were promoted to the Sharks on Tuesday, the team also announced the reassignment of five players to the Barracuda. The Barracuda will have goalkeeper Alexei Melnichuk, strikers Sasha Chmelevski, Noah Gregor and Stefan Noesen and defender Nicolas Meloche. Melnichuk started the season with the Barracuda and went 0-1-1 in the team’s first two games. Chmelevski (two games) and Meloche (five games), both Barracuda regulars from last season, celebrated their NHL- earlier this season. Debut for the Sharks. Gregor has scored three goals in 13 games for the Sharks this year. Noesen was assigned to the Barracuda after his debut in the AHL season in the win on Sunday.
Names to Watch Out for: Bakersfield dropped the first five games of the 2020-21 season but responded with two wins, thanks in large part to their goalkeeper, Stuart Skinner. Skinner, the 2017 Edmonton Oilers selection, has played well this season, taking both of the team’s wins while holding a GAA of 2.01. Last season Skinner hit a 4-1 record against the Barracuda. Familiar faces Cooper Marody and Joe Gambardella lead Bakersfield with five points each.
New faces: The Barracuda will again have one of the youngest squads in the AHL in 2020-21. There were a total of 14 rookies on San Jose’s opening list, and nine different players made their AHL debut. The first year pro group is led by Ryan Merkley (first round, 21st overall round) in 2018.