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Game 50 Preview: Iowa at Kalamazoo

Saturday, February 19th
Game 50 Preview: Iowa at Kalamazoo

Landers and K-Wings rematch Saturday

Kalamazoo, MI - The Iowa Heartlanders (19-23-6-1, 45 pts.) and Kalamazoo Wings (24-20-0-0, 48 pts.) duel for the second straight day Saturday at 6:00 p.m. as Iowa seeks a weekend sweep. Iowa won its first game of the season series Friday, 5-2, behind two goals from Jake Smith. Saturday marks the fifth season-series matchup.In the Friday victory, Iowa used 29 saves from Dereck Baribeau and three third-period goals. Smith, Ben Sokay and Cole Stallard tallied in the third. Ryan Kuffner assisted both of Smith’s goals, extending Kuffner’s points streak to a franchise-record 12 games.Iowa returns home for a three-game home stand Feb. 23-26 at Xtream Arena. Friday, Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne is Batman Night, where the Heartlanders will wear special Batman jerseys that will be available for auction.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.Broadcast Coverage: Listen at Iowaheartlanders.com/listenlive or mixlr.com/goheartlanders. Watch on FloHockey.tv.NHL Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Kalamazoo Wings (Columbus Blue Jackets/Cleveland Monsters)Division outlook1. Toledo – 65 pts.2. Fort Wayne – 52 pts.3. Cincinnati – 52 pts.4. Wheeling– 51 pts.5. Kalamazoo – 48 pts.6. Iowa – 45 pts.7. Indy – 44 pts.Season Series Saturday Iowa and Kalamazoo play in six of the Landers’ final 23 games this season. Iowa plays Kalamazoo ten times this season, most of any division opponent. The teams played once in Iowa’s first 39 games.Coralville is located 350 miles from Kalamazoo and the K-Wings are Iowa’s second-closest opponent.Kalamazoo’s most-common opponent this season is Fort Wayne (14 matchups). Those clubs have already played nine times this campaign.Roster notesThe Heartlanders have utilized 48 players in their inaugural season, while Kalamazoo has dressed 33 unique skaters and goaltenders. Both teams have been marked by relative goaltending stability; Iowa has played five goaltenders.Scouting the K-WingsVeterans Justin Taylor and Tanner Sorenson are jockeying for Kalamazoo’s points lead. Taylor is second on the team with 15 goals and is tied for tops on the team with 36 points. Sorenson matched Taylor’s 36 points with a helper Friday.Trevor Gorsuch has played in 27 of the 44 Wings games this season, winning 12 times.Head Coach Nick Bootland has been the bench boss for Kalamazoo since 2008, a year before the team joined the ECHL from the IHL.Not too many games The Heartlanders are in the midst of a relatively “light” stretch for ECHL standards; the club plays five times over the next two weeks. Following Saturday’s road game, Iowa returns home for a three-game Staybridge Suites Home Stand next Wednesday-Saturday. Iowa then enjoys a rare “week off” from Feb. 26 – Mar. 5. Iowa plays ten games in March, fewest in the division. Kalamazoo, by contrast, plays 14 games in 31 days.Upcoming Home GamesWednesday, February 23rd at 7:00 p.m. vs. Wichita – College Night presented by Hills BankFriday, February 25th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne – DC Comics Night (special Batman jerseys)Saturday, February 26th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne – Paint with the Heartlanders, thanks to Brush and BarrelThe 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.