Wheeling, WV – Iowa Heartlanders forward Joe Widmar slammed in a rebound with 2:37 left, giving the Iowa Heartlanders a late lead in a 4-2 victory over the Wheeling Nailers Saturday at Wesbanco Arena.Off a Wheeling turnover, the Heartlanders entered the fast. Rebounding a Connor Graham shot just outside the crease, Widmar flicked in the puck to give Iowa the late lead. It was Widmar’s 20th point of the campaign, 3rd most on the team. Ben Sokay scored an empty-net goal with less than 20 seconds to go to end the game.The game featured 54 combined penalty minutes, including a fight two seconds into the game, and scuffles after the final whistle.The Heartlanders struck first at 5:37 of the first off the stick of Jake Smith, who has now tallied a point in seven straight, scoring in six. Smith and Jack Billings ran a give-and-go that found Smith alone at net front. Smith was recently named the Inglasco ECHL Player of the Week for Jan. 10-16, the first Heartlanders player ever to win the award.Billings scored a goal of his own with less than a minute left in the first period. Playing five-on-three hockey, Billings found an easy set shot from the right circle.The Nailers got on the board at 11:00 of the second period. Nick Hutchison redirected a Patrick Watling slap shot into the back of the net for the power-play goal. Watling then evened the score a minute into the final frame. On a chaotic breakaway, the puck floated to Watling in the middle slot, and he buried his 19th of the year.Trevin Kozlowski was brilliant in the win for Iowa, saving 35. Stefanos Lekkas took to loss for the Nailers stopping 19.Box ScoreThe Heartlanders complete a five-game road trip at Wheeling Sunday at 3:10 p.m.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 nightSeason 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.
Widmar scores with 2:37 to go and Heartlanders beat Nailers, 4-2
Saturday, January 22nd