Iowa riding season-best five-game points streak into Friday’s game
Toledo, OH - The Iowa Heartlanders (11-17-5-1, 28 pts.) have points in five straight contests and travel to Toledo to face the Walleye (22-8-0-2, 46 pts.) for a road hit in Ohio Friday at 7:00 p.m. The Heartlanders are 3-0-2-0 in their last five games, the longest points streak in team history. Toledo is first place in the Central Division, five points ahead of second-place Cincinnati. Following tonight’s game, Iowa will be halfway through the 72-game ECHL season.Iowa’s five-game point streak has come about as a result of timely scoring; in each of the last three games, Iowa either took the lead or tied the game in the final period. It’s been two weeks since the club lost in regulation. Last time out, Jake Smith scored with 1:08 to go, his ninth goal this month, to secure victory. He is the reigning Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week after he potted four goals and six points in three games last week.The Landers are starting their third consecutive “three-in-three”; following Friday’s game, Iowa visits Wheeling for two straight Saturday and Sunday.Iowa has won two straight season-series games against the Walleye.Broadcast Coverage: Listen at Iowaheartlanders.com/listenlive or mixlr.com/goheartlanders. Watch on FloHockey.tv.NHL Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Toledo Walleye (Detroit Red Wings/Grand Rapids Griffins)Can’t Stop SmittyJake Smith posted two multi-point outings in three games last week and was named Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week after tallying a goal in all three Heartlanders games. Of his four goals, two were on the power play and his last was a game-winning strike. He has topped the ECHL in goals in back-to-back weeks, potted goals in five straight games and factored in on 13 of the last 20 Heartlanders goals with either a goal or assist.Smith is in his third professional campaign; he skated 60 career SPHL games from 2019-21 and also had a stint in the German 3rd League. The 5-foot-10, 180-lb., right-handed shot played two seasons in the QMJHL and one in the OHL with Windsor before turning pro. Last Time OutJake Smith scored on a right-wing circle shot with 1:08 to go, giving the Heartlanders a late lead they never surrendered to knock off Indy, 2-1, Sunday at Indiana Farmers Coliseum. Corbin Kaczperski made 28 saves for his third ECHL victory. Derek Whitmore, joining the Heartlanders for a one-game stint, scored at 6:19 of the second to give the Heartlanders a 1-0 lead. Indy tied the game in the final half of the third before Smith’s game-winning strike.Scouting Toledo
The Walleye have rattled off two straight wins and victories, poushing to their high-water mark of 14 games above hockey .500. The club started 8-5-0-0, but have since gone 14-3-0-2. One of those regulation losses came to the Heartlanders Dec. 11, 3-2.Toledo scores 3.75 goals/game, tied with Trois-Rivieres for most in the league. The club is also fourth-ranked in goals against (2.56 allowed/game).All-Star TJ Hensick has scored 16 goals and 38 points, both best on the club. He is second in the ECHL in points and fourth in goals.Season SeriesIowa has overcome a pair of deficits in each of its last two season-series games and won both to pull to a 2-5-0-0 record in the season series. Cole Golka has scored three times against Toledo, the most of any active Heartlanders player. Trevin Kozlowski is 2-2-0-0 with a 3.20 goals against average and .914 save percentage in the series.TJ Hensicks tops Toledo with 11 points (2g) in 7 games. John Albert and Marcus Vela have each scored seven goals and ten points in the series.Upcoming Home GamesWednesday, January 26th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Indy – College NightFriday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Kalamazoo - Boy Scouts NightSaturday, January 29th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Kalamazoo – Marvel ™ theme nightThe Heartlanders Season ticket memberships, group tickets, mini-plans, flex vouchers and single-game tickets are available for the Heartlanders inaugural season by calling 319-569-GOAL and visiting iowaheartlanders.com/tickets.