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Game 52 Preview: Fort Wayne at Iowa

Thursday, February 24th
Game 52 Preview: Fort Wayne at Iowa

Landers host Komets on Batman Night at Xtream Arena

Coralville, Iowa - The Iowa Heartlanders (21-23-6-1, 49 pts.) ride a season-long four-game winning streak into Friday’s 7:00 p.m. game against the Fort Wayne Komets (25-17-5-1, 56 pts.) at Xtream Arena. Iowa is 2-2-0-0 against the Komets this season, and Friday’s contest is the first time Fort Wayne has visited Coralville.Friday is DC Comics Night, which features Batman jerseys and a chance to meet Batman at the game to get your picture taken with Gotham’s finest. Saturday is Paint with the Heartlanders, thanks to Brush and Barrel.The Landers have scored 21 goals and allowed ten over the four-game winning streak. Dereck Baribeau is 3-0-0-0 over the stretch and stopped 20 in a 7-3 victory Wednesday vs. Wichita. Iowa had six goals scorers and Kris Bennett topped the Landers with four points.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: Batman Night with special Batman Jerseys and Batman Character AppearanceBroadcast Coverage: Listen at Iowaheartlanders.com/listenlive or mixlr.com/goheartlanders. Watch on FloHockey.tv.NHL Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Fort Wayne Komets (Vegas Golden Knights/Henderson Silver Knights)Last Time OutIowa tallied five goals in the third period, the most-prolific frame in team history, to wash away Wichita, 7-3, Wednesday at home. Five Landers scored in the third; Kaid Oliver, Jake Smith, Cole Stallard, Kris Bennett and Yuki Miura. Smith’s game-winning goal gives him “three” winners (2 in regulation, 1 shootout) over the last four contests. Iowa out shot the Thunder, 39-23. The Landers scored two power-play goals in the third on three chances, giving the squad five man-up strikes in the last three games.First GoalsThe Landers are 6-3-1-0 over their last ten games and part of the reason has been the club’s ability to strike first; Iowa has scored first in eight of the ten games. Iowa has netted the game’s first goal 23 times this season and holds an 18-4-1-0 mark when scoring first (.804 pts.%, 6th in ECHL). Kris Bennett and Jake Smith have tallied the game’s opening strike three times each, good for the best mark on the club.Kuffner’s and Bennett’s magical monthLinemates Ryan Kuffner and Kris Bennett have each tallied 20 points this month, which is tied for the most in the league in February. Kuffner is riding a franchise-record 14-game points streak (Jan. 7 – pres.) and Bennett has tallied nine points over his last three games. The Captain Bennett leads ECHL rookies with 21 goals and 45 points this season. Kuffner has 25 points over his 14-game points streak, which is the third-longest in the league this campaign. He has registered at least one helper in ten straight games, the best run in the ECHL in 2021-22.Season Series The clubs played four times at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum In November and December; the clubs have alternated wins and Fort Wayne took the last matchup Dec. 31, 1-0. Iowa has been shut out twice and both have been to the Komets. Both teams have scored seven goals.Adrien Beraldo leads Iowa with two goals against Fort Wayne; he scored the first of his career at the K’s Nov. 21. Ben Sokay and Yuki Miura also tallied their first pro goals against the Komets in that 5-1 win.Will Graber leads Fort Wayne with five points (2g) against Iowa in the series.Scouting Fort WayneThe Komets are at 56 points, good for second in the Central Division by total points. Fort Wayne is 17-7-2-0 at home, the most wins of any team in the Central. Fort Wayne has eight wins away from the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. This weekend will be the first time since the first week of February Fort Wayne is playing consecutive road games.Overall, nine of the next 12 Komets games are outside Fort Wayne. Will Graber has scored 53 points (39a) in 35 games to lead the Komets. He also tops the team with a plus-27 rating and has the ability to play both forward and defenseman. Anthony Petruzzelli is the team goals leader with 18.Upcoming Home GamesFriday, 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.