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Barracuda preseason game suspended after second period due to COVID protocol

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Eight of the nine players reassigned to the ‘Cuda yesterday were in tonight’s line up.

San Jose Barracuda left wing Rudolfs Balcers (38) looks down after a empty net goal put the Tucson Roadrunners up 3-0 in the third inning during a hockey game between the Chicago Wolves and Tuscon Roadrunners on April 27, 2018, at Tucson Convention Center in Tucson, AZ. Tucson Roadrunners defeated San Jose Barracuda 3-0 and moved onto the next round of the playoffs. Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

It’s not just the Vegas Golden Knights who may be dealing with an outbreak of coronavirus.

After two periods in tonight’s preseason game between the Henderson Silver Knights (Vegas’ new AHL affiliate) and the San Jose Barracuda, the game was unexpectedly suspended. An announcement made in-arena said that the rest of the game would not continue due to COVID-19 protocols.

It is currently unknown which team is responsible for the COVID protocols kicking in, though the Henderson coaching staff filled in at the NHL level on Tuesday, after Vegas’ coaching staff turned up two positive tests and were placed in isolation. Defender Alex Pietrangelo and an additional member of the coaching staff were added to the protocol list, though whether or not it was due to a positive test is unclear. The upcoming scheduled series between the Sharks and Golden Knights was postponed due to the outbreak.

As for tonight’s game, it seems peculiar that they would play two periods — even coming out onto the benches for the third period before returning to locker rooms — if there was any sort of concern over a player or staff member’s status. Henderson was up 1-0 after the second, thanks to a goal from Jermaine Loewen.

Yesterday, there were changes to the Barracuda roster, as the Sharks assigned nine players to the AHL. Forwards Jeffrey Viel, Fredrik Handemark, Joel Kellman and John Leonard, defenders Nicolas Meloche, Brinson Pasichnuk and Jake Middleton, as well as goaltender Alexei Melnichuk were all added to the ‘Cuda roster. Recent acquisition Rudolfs Balcers was also sent down on a conditioning assignment. Kellman was the only player not in tonight’s line up against Henderson.

The ‘Cuda have one more preseason game scheduled for Monday, February 1 in Tucson against the Roadrunners before the season starts on Friday, February 5.

UPDATE

The Henderson Silver Knights have confirmed that the suspension was not due to a positive COVID test among their players or staff.

This story will be updated as it develops.

UPDATE

A player on the Barracuda has tested positive for coronavirus. The team has suspended all team activities and the remainder of the preseason.