Iowa starts back-to-back with Nailers
Wheeling, WV - The Iowa Heartlanders (12-18-5-1, 30 pts.) enter the second half of the ECHL season with back-to-back road contests at the Wheeling Nailers (18-14-1-0, 37 pts.), starting Saturday at 6:10 p.m. The Landers have earned at least a point in five of the last six games.Saturday is Iowa’s first trip to Wesbanco Arena, which has been Wheeling’s home arena for every year of its 30-season history in the ECHL. Iowa has a point in one of the first three season-series matchups (0-2-1-0).Friday in Toledo, Iowa fought back from a pair of multi-goal deficits to pull within a goal, but Toledo held on for a 4-3 win.The Nailers hosted Kalamazoo Friday and bombed the Wings, 6-2, led by a pair of strikes from Cam Hausinger and four points (1g) from Shaw Boomhower.Broadcast Coverage: Listen at Iowaheartlanders.com/listenlive or mixlr.com/goheartlanders. Watch on FloHockey.tv.NHL Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Wheeling Nailers (Pittsburgh Penguins/Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins)Second half rising?The Landers enter the second half of the season with intentions of continuing their play over the last couple months. Since December 8, Iowa has earned points in 10 of 16 games (7-6-3-0). Part of Iowa’s identity has been the emergence of players signed from the SPHL; Jake Smith leads Iowa with nine goals since Jan. 2, goaltender Corbin Kaczperski boasts a .933 save percentage and Iowa’s defense is surrendering three goals a game since Dec. 8th.Last Time OutThe Iowa Heartlanders fell, 4-3, to the Toledo Walleye Friday at the Huntington Center. Corbin Kaczperski starred in net for the Heartlanders saving 37, many of high difficulty. Iowa trailed by two twice in the game, cut it to one both times, but were never able to take the lead. Zach White, Kaid Oliver, and Riese Zmolek each tallied a goal for the Heartlanders.Season SeriesThe Nailers have taken the first three meetings of the season series, but the clubs haven’t played since Nov. 27. Iowa forced overtime with a game-tying goal in the final two minutes in the first matchup ever between the clubs Oct. 27. Last time the clubs played, Justin Almeida tied the Wheeling record with four goals, which the Nailers required for a narrow 4-2 win.Trevin Kozlowski has faced Wheeling once in the season series. The Nailers have had three goaltenders – Stefanos Lekkas, Tommy Nappier and Alex D’Orio – play against Iowa. Justin Almeida leads all players in the series with seven goals and nine points.Next upThe Landers complete a five-game road trip at Wheeling Sunday at 3:10 p.m., then start a three-game Staybridge Suites Homestand on Jan. 26 vs. Indy.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.