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Game 60 Preview: Fort Wayne at Iowa

Tuesday, March 22nd
Game 60 Preview: Fort Wayne at Iowa

 Landers and Komets conclude wild season series Wednesday

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders (26-25-7-1, 60 pts.) and Fort Wayne Komets (31-20-6-1, 69 pts.) play for the ninth and final time this regular season Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. at Xtream Arena. The Heartlanders are 5-3-0-0 in the series and 3-1-0-0 in games contested at Xtream Arena. Wednesday starts a critical three-game home stand for the Landers. Entering Wednesday, Iowa sits four points back of Wheeling for the fourth and final playoff spot. Cincinnati is five points ahead of Iowa and nestled in third. The Cyclones visit Xtream Arena twice this week (Friday and Saturday). Weekly PromotionsThe game on Wednesday Mar. 23 vs. Fort Wayne is presented by the Iowa City Area Association of Realtors. It’s Elementary School Night on Fri., Mar. 25 vs. Cincinnati, presented by MidWestOne Bank. On Mar. 26, Iowa hosts Cincinnati again for First Responders Night, presented by Steindler Orthopedic Clinic. 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-GOAL. Broadcast 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 Out Iowa’s Kaid Oliver scored his 11th of the season with 2:19 left to even the score in an eventual 5-4 overtime defeat at Kalamazoo Saturday. Oliver has scored 44 points this season, which is third on the team. Kyle Blaney ended the game with 31 seconds left in overtime, solving Hunter Jones (37 saves). Trevor Gorsuch moved to 5-1-0-0 in the season series vs. Iowa; all five of his wins have been when making 30 or more saves. Kris Bennett scored his league-leading 29th of the season to tie the game at three in the second frame. Jake Smith and Luke Nogard had Iowa’s first two goals. Iowa has scored first in 11 of 13 games.  Season Series Round upIowa is 5-3-0-0 against the Komets this season. After playing the first four games of the series at Fort Wayne, Wednesday concludes a stretch of five straight season-series home games. The clubs have matched five times over the last month at Xtream Arena. The fights and penalty minutes have been a large storyline of what started as a relatively calm season series. There have been 14 fighting majors assessed to both teams in the series, which is the most in Heartlanders history against one team. The teams have had a combined 421 PIM in the last four games of the series alone. In the February 26th meeting, there were 168 combined PIM (most in an ECHL game this season) and Mar. 11 there were 152 (second-most in a game). Iowa has outscored Fort Wayne, 23-20, in the series. In series wins, the Heartlanders average 4.6 goals/game.  Ryan Kuffner has nine assists in five series games and leads Iowa with ten series points. Will Graber is best on Fort Wayne with seven helpers and nine points. Fort Wayne blue liner Connor Corcoran tops all players in the series with four goals.Scouting Fort WayneThe Komets are coming off a successful 2-0-1 run against the Cincinnati Cyclones since their last jaunt to Xtream Arena Mar. 9-11. Fort Wayne has built a four-point cushion over Cincinnati for second place in the division and the Komets have played two fewer games than the Cyclones.Forward Will Graber leads the ECHL with 49 assists and is best on the team with 65 points, which was tied for the league lead at the start of this week. The second-year talent has shown the ability to play two ways this season, spending a percentage of his playing time on the blue line. Rookie Connor Corcoran is second among ECHL blue liners with 20 goals this season. He is second on the team in goals behind Captain Anthony Petruzzelli. Goaltender Samuel Harvey has earned the majority of playing time in net this season, going 16-6-3-0 with a 2.98 goals against average and .912 save percentage.Upcoming Home Games- Wednesday, Mar. 23rd at 7:00 p.m. vs. Fort Wayne – game presented by Iowa City Area Association of Realtors - Friday, Mar. 25 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Cincinnati – Elementary School Night presented by MidWestOne Bank- Saturday, Mar. 26 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Cincinnati – First Responders Night presented by Steindler Orthopedic Clinic

The 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.