February 13, 2021
SAN JOSE BARRACUDA (1-1-1-0) vs. TEXAS STARS (2-2-0-0)
SATURDAY, FEB. 13 | 5:00 p.m. PT | HEB Center | Cedar Park, TX
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On the road again: The San Jose Barracuda will face the Texas Stars for the second time in a row on Saturday after a 5-2 win on Friday. The win against Texas was the first of the season at Barracuda and the first win in the professional career of rookie netminder Sam Harvey. After Saturday, the two teams will end their three-game series on Tuesday.
A first time for everything: on Friday five players celebrated their season debut and four players achieved important career premieres. 2020 Draft Pick Ozzy Weisblatt (1st round, 31st overall round) scored his first professional goal in the third half on Friday. Kyle Topping found the backbone of the net on his pro debut in the first half and in 2017 Sharks’ draft pick Jake McGrew (6th round, 159 total) earned his first AHL point with a support from the first period. Rookie goalkeeper Sam Harvey had a stellar performance on his professional debut, making 29 saves on the way to his first career win.
Movin ‘on Up: The Sharks recalled three from the Barracuda on Thursday. Defender Jake Middleton, striker John Leonard and goalkeeper Alexei Melnichuk. Leonard and Middleton started the season with the Sharks, while rookie goalkeeper Alexei Melnichuk made an active return to the Sharks for the first time since he was transferred to the Barracuda by the Sharks’ training team in late January. Leonard had one goal and assist in two games with the Barracuda, while Melnichuk had a GAA of 3.52 in two starts at AHL level.
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 the San Jose opening list and nine different players made their AHL debut. Ozzy Weisblatt (1st round, 31st total round) and Tristen Robins (2nd round, 56th total round) and Ryan Merkley (1st round, 21st total round) selected the group of first year professionals for 2018. and John Leonard (sixth round, 182nd overall round).
Shimmering Danes: Alexander True and Joachim Blichfeld continued their success from last season on Monday evening. True scored two goals for the Barracuda in a 5-3 loss to Tucson, while Blichfeld added a goal and assist for the start of his 2020-21 season. It was True’s sixth multi-goal attempt in his Barracuda career and one point less for Blichfeld. Both players scored several points again on Friday as the two strikers led the Barracuda by four points each on Saturday with the stars
The Return of Roy Sommer: Longtime Barracuda bank chief Roy Sommer joined the San Jose Sharks coaching staff in the 2019-20 season. Sommer will be returning to his behind the bench role for the Barracuda this season, trying to improve his AHL record of 773 wins. Assistants Michael Chiasson and Jimmy Bonneau are also returning to the Barracuda coaches. Longtime Barracuda captain John McCarthy will begin his first season as a development coach, having served as an assistant after his retirement last year.
Familiar faces: The Barracuda are entering the 2020-21 season and bringing back three of their top five points from 2019-20. Jayden Halbgewachs, who led the team in Toren (19), is returning for his third professional campaign. While Jeffrey Viel (13 + 17 = 30) and Joachim Blichfeld (16 + 16 = 32) try to improve their contributions from last season.
Oh Captain: Last Saturday, Jaycob Megna was named the third captain in the history of San Jose Barracuda. 2020-21 marks the 28-year-old’s first season with the team. Megna has a leadership background and was deputy captain of the Chicago Wolves last season under current Sharks Associate Trainer Rocky Thompson. He was also the captain of the San Diego Gulls in 2018-19.