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Heartlanders win 6th straight in physical battle with Fort Wayne

Sunday, February 27th
Heartlanders win 6th straight in physical battle with Fort Wayne

182 combined PIM, most in ECHL game this season 

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders used four first-period goals to rout the Fort Wayne Komets, 6-2, Saturday at Xtream Arena. The game featured 160 penalty minutes in the third period alone, and 182 total for the game, the most in an ECHL game this season. The victory extended Iowa’s win streak to six, the longest in team history. With Kalamazoo losing, Iowa overtook the Wings for fifth place in the division. The Heartlanders trail the Cyclones by four points for the fourth and final playoff spot.The game’s first goal came from Zach White 65 seconds in. White hammered home a Ryan Kuffner pass at net front for his ninth goal of the year. The Kuffner assist increased his point streak to 16, the longest in Heartlanders history. Ben Sokay scored the second Iowa goal at 13:08 of the first. Sokay finished a Cole Stallard shot in the crease, his fifth game in a row with a goal.The third Iowa goal came on the power play from Kaid Oliver. Waiting in the middle slot, Oliver ricocheted the puck off the post, his 11th on the season. Kris Bennett, who leads the team in scoring, buried one to put Iowa up 4-0 with two minutes left in the first. Bennett collected a cross-ice pass from Adrien Beraldo off his skate and scored his 22nd goal of the season. Iowa’s four first period goals were the second most they ever scored in a period (5 vs. Wichita, 2/23).The Komets got on the board two minutes into the second, but Josh Koepplinger answered for the Heartlanders with his first ECHL goal. A Komet mishandled the puck at center ice with only Koepplinger around. The third-year pro chased down the loose puck and sniped it to the top right corner. Koepplinger scored again halfway through the final frame on the power play. He rebounded an Oliver shot and rifled it in to put the Heartlanders up 6-2.Corbin Kaczperski was terrific in the win for the Heartlanders, making 29 saves. Samuel Harvey started for the Komets, but was replaced at the start of the second period. He took the loss, stopping eight of 12 shots. Mario Culina made ten denials in relief.Box Score

The Heartlanders are home for a rematch with the Komets Saturday at 7:00 p.m. for Paint with the Heartlanders, thanks to Brush and Barrel. 

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.  Upcoming Home GamesWednesday, March 9th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne – College Night, pres. by Hills BankFriday, Mar. 11th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne – Military Appreciation Night, pres. by GreenState Credit UnionSaturday, Mar. 12th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne