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Game 54 Preview: Iowa at Kansas City

Saturday, March 5th
Game 54 Preview: Iowa at Kansas City

Landers complete season series at Mavericks

Independence, MO - The Iowa Heartlanders (23-23-6-1, 51 pts.) have won six straight games and travel to Missouri to face the Kansas City Mavericks for the final time this season Saturday at 7:05 p.m.Iowa has outscored opponents, 31-14, over the team’s record winning streak. The Heartlanders won eight games in February (8-3-1-0 record), the best month in team history.The club has used the last week off to recover from last Saturday’s penalty-filled game 6-2 win against Fort Wayne. The Landers and Komets combined for 168 penalty minutes (5 game misconducts, 6 fights), the most in an ECHL game this season and most in a league game since Apr. 6, 2019.  Iowa and Kansas City have both won four games in the season series; the Heartlanders are 4-2-2-0 against the Mavericks and the teams have not played since Jan. 14.The Landers start a three-game home stand next Wed., Mar. 9 with College Night vs. Fort Wayne at 7:00 p.m., presented by Hills Bank. On Friday, Mar. 11 at 7:00 p.m., Iowa plays Fort Wayne again on Military Appreciation Night, presented by GreenState Credit Union. The weekend finale takes place on Saturday, Mar. 12 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Kalamazoo.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) | Kansas City Mavericks (Calgary Flames/Stockton Heat)Last Time OutThe Iowa Heartlanders scored four times in the first period and never looked back, smacking the Fort Wayne Komets, 6-2, Feb. 26 at Xtream Arena.Zach White, Ben Sokay, Kaid Oliver and Kris Bennett scored in the first. Josh Koepplinger scored his first two ECHL goals to finish the scoring, tallying late in the second and midway through the third.The clubs combined for 146 penalty minutes in the third period. Iowa finished the game with 76 PIM. Fort Wayne had 92.Corbin Kaczperski won for the second straight night, denying 29 shots. He finished the weekend with 59 saves on 63 Komets opportunities (.937 save percentage).Sokay’s remarkable run Forward Ben Sokay has scored a goal in five straight games, matching Jake Smith’s record for the most consecutive Iowa games with a goal. The 6-foot, 170-lb. center has ten goals this campaign, meaning half of his season’s tallies have come since Feb. 18. Iowa is 8-0-1-0 when he scores a goal this season. His ten goals put him one behind his NCAA high; Sokay scored 11 for Niagara as a senior in 2019-20 and sat out the 2020-21 season.Season Series Amidst a penalty-filled and rambunctious season series, the Heartlanders and Mavericks end it Saturday with the club’s ninth battle. Iowa and Kansas City each have four wins in the series.The series has had memorable moments for both sides; Iowa won their first game ever against the Mavericks, 7-4, on Opening Night at Xtream Arena Oct. 22. The next night, KC struck back with their first win of the season. Kansas City has earned two come-from-behind wins in the series, while Iowa has never trailed in any of its four victories. Iowa has scored the first goal five times in the eight matchups and is 4-1-0-0 when netting the game’s opening strike. By contrast, the Landers are 0-1-2-0 when allowing the first goal.There have been ten fights and 406 combined penalty minutes (261 KC, 145 IA) in the season series, an average of 50.8 PIM/game. Kansas City has had nine misconducts, while Iowa has had none.Kris Bennett tops all players in the series with seven goals (9 pts.). Jack Billings is the Landers’ points leader with 10 (4g). Ben Johnson leads Kansas City with six goals in the series. Mavericks forward Darik Angeli bests all players with eight helpers and 12 assists.Scouting Kansas City Throughout the season, Kansas City has made a number of key additions that have helped the club stay around hockey .500. Among familiar names in the Central Division, former Indy Fuel defenseman Mike Lee and former Fort Wayne Komets D Chays Ruddy and F Bailey Conger are all now on the Mavericks.Wheeling (1-0-0-0) and Iowa (4-4-0-0) are the only two Central Division clubs to play Iowa this season.  Kansas City has never been more than four games below hockey .500 this season (8-12-1-0). On the flip side, their high-water mark is one game above hockey .500.Upcoming Home GamesWednesday, Mar. 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 Union (Camo Stress Ball Giveaway, proceeds benefit Salute to Fallen)Saturday, Mar. 12th at 7:00 p.m. vs. KalamazooWednesday, Mar. 23rd at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne – College Night pres. by Hills BankThe 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.