Landers look for 1st win of week vs. Grizz
Coralville, Iowa - The Iowa Heartlanders (17-21-6-1, 41 pts.) rematch the Utah Grizzlies (27-15-2-1, 57 pts.) for the second of three straight Friday at 7:00 p.m. on Faith & Family Night, pres. by Pizza Ranch. Iowa has registered at least a point in three straight games (2-0-1-0) and narrowly dropped in overtime to Utah, 5-4, Wednesday. On the flip side, Utah snapped a two-game slide in Wednesday’s come-from-behind effort.The clubs play three times this season, all at Xtream Arena this week.Faith & Family Night kicks off a weekend of promotions and family-friendly entertainment at Xtream Arena. Tonight, doors open at 5:30 p.m. for a special presentation featuring guest speakers Logan Lee (football) and Hannah Clayton (volleyball), who are members of Iowa Athletes in Action. Proceeds from ticket sales benefit Filter of Hope. Postgame, Heartlanders players and Dash will be at Backpocket Brewery to meet fans for Mug Club Night.Saturday at 7:00 p.m. is Pink in the Rink Night, with ticket proceeds benefitting Team Breast Friends. Fans are encouraged to wear pink and the Heartlanders team store will prominently feature pink gear.Tavern Blue Fore Packs are available for all home games this season, which includes four tickets, four hot dogs, four sodas, VIP Parking and discounts from Tavern Blue restaurant. Tickets for the game are also available by calling 319-569-PUCK.Promo: Faith & Family Night, pres. by Pizza Ranch | Backpocket Mug Club Night (postgame meet and greet with players and Dash)Broadcast Coverage: Listen at Iowaheartlanders.com/listenlive or mixlr.com/goheartlanders. Watch on FloHockey.tv.NHL Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Utah Grizzlies (Colorado Avalanche/Colorado Eagles)Last Time OutDespite a three-point night from Ryan Kuffner and two points from Kris Bennett, the opportunistic Utah Grizzlies scored five times on 26 shots to solve the Iowa Heartlanders in overtime, 5-4. Ben Tardif netted the OT winner at 2:37 of the extra session on a one-on-one chance at the right post. Fedor Gordeev and Zach White also potted goals in addition to Bennett and Kuffner.The continued magnificence of Kuffner and BennettLinemates Ryan Kuffner and Kris Bennett continued their double-A domination in Wednesday’s game; each generated multi-point contests and Kuffner topped all players with three points (1g). Since returning from injury Jan. 28, Kuffner has generated a league-best 13 points (6g) in six games. He has points in seven straight dating back to Jan. 7. The Princeton graduate has two multi-goal games this season; both have come in the last two weeks.Bennett tops Iowa in goals (17) and points (34). He has four straight multi-point games and four straight with goals (5g, 4a). He is the reigning ECHL Player of the Week after topping the league with four goals and seven points last week.Center Zach White has also played an important distributor role, dealing out five helpers in four games. He has scored in back-to-back contests, including the winning goal at Wheeling Feb. 5.Gordy sneaks one in Defenseman Fedor Gordeev scored Wednesday on a floater from the left blue line, his second of the season and first since opening night, a 41-game span without a goal. Gordeev’s goal on opening night gave Iowa a 5-1 lead in an eventual win over Kansas City in the first game in Iowa history.The rookie has 13 points, most among active Iowa defensemen. In January, Gordeev had a plus-12 rating, third-best in the ECHL.Friday fun facts Gerry Fleming is in his 24th season as a professional hockey Head Coach, amassing more than 600 games as a Head Coach at the ECHL level and 3+ seasons as an AHL bench boss. Fleming started his head coaching career with the Tallahassee Tigers Sharks, a franchise that moved multiple times in the early 2000’s before settling in West Valley City, Utah and becoming the Utah Grizzlies. Essentially, Fleming is coaching against his “former franchise” this week. Fleming coached Tallahassee in their final season in the Florida panhandle, 2000-01, and registered a 38-27-7 mark (83 pts.).Upcoming Home GamesFriday, February 11th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Utah – Faith & Family NightSaturday, February 12th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Utah – Pink in the Rink NightWednesday, February 16th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Tulsa – College 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.