Heartlanders look to sweep Cyclones out of eastern Iowa
Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders (27-26-7-1, 62 pts.) will honor those that help keep our community safe on First Responders Night presented by Steindler Orthopedic Clinic vs. the Cincinnati Cyclones (32-27-3-0, 67 pts. Saturday at 7:00 p.m. There are four regular season home games remaining in the Heartlanders’ season.Iowa and Cincinnati faced off at Xtream Arena for the first time Friday and the Heartlanders dominated, 5-0, on a night that featured a little bit of everything; Kris Bennett had the first natural hat trick in team history, Corbin Kaczperski made 29 saves for his first pro shutout and Iowa’s power play went 2-for-3.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 MC22 (channel 22, 722 and 822) and FloHockey.tv. NHL Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Cincinnati Cyclones (Buffalo Sabres/Rochester Americans)Last Time OutKris Bennett earned his first professional hat trick and Corbin Kaczperski shut out the Cincinnati Cyclones, 5-0, Friday at Xtream Arena. All three of Bennett’s goals came in the first period; it was a natural hat trick as he scored three straight goals on his first three shots of the game in an 8:26 span. The goals gave Iowa a 4-0 lead after one. It was the first home hat trick for the Heartlanders and the second in team history (Jake Smith, 1/9 at Rapid City).Bennett leads the ECHL in goals with 32. The shutout was the first of Kaczperski’s professional career and the first in Heartlanders history. He finished with 29 saves and received his tenth win of the season, most on the team.Big Game, TV Game Saturday’s game airs on Mediacom MC22 (Channel 22, 722 and 822), the sixth time the Heartlanders have a game on television this season. Iowa won its first game in team history on MC22, a 7-4 triumph over Kansas City. Iowa is 3-3-0-0 for the year during TV games. Iowa’s last television game is Apr. 9 vs. Indy. The Heartlanders also have a weekly coaches show that airs Tuesdays from 6:00-6:30 on MC22 called “In the Heartland,” which features highlights analysis from players, Head Coach Gerry Fleming and voice of the Heartlanders David Fine. Head Coach ComparisonGerry Fleming has a number of connections within the Central Division, including with Cincinnati’s Head Coach Jason Payne. Fleming was the Head Coach of the Florida Everblades when Payne was a forward for the ‘Blades in 2001-02. Fleming is in his 24th consecutive season as a professional hockey coach. Besides that Central connection, Gerry has worked with Fort Wayne’s Ben Boudreau in the Oilers’ affiliation system when Boudreau was an assistant coach with ECHL Bakersfield and Gerry was Oklahoma City’s Head Coach.Payne is in his first season as Cyclones Head Coach after serving as Cincinnati Assistant Coach in the Cyclones’ previous two seasons.Cincinnati Season Series Saturday is the final time the Cyclones and Heartlanders play in Iowa this season. There are three games remaining in the season. On Friday, Cincinnati became the last Central Division team to visit Xtream Arena this season. The series’ home-road divide is heavily slanted towards Cincinnati; of the seven games, five are in Cincinnati.Scouting Cincinnati The Cyclones have had a few dominant runs that have kept them in the playoff picture throughout the entire season. After starting 9-9-0-0, the club won 11 of the next 14 and were nine games above hockey .500 on Jan. 12, the team’s high-water mark.Cincinnati has played 11 games already in March and are 4-7-0-0 in March.The team has qualified for the ECHL’s Kelly Cup Playoffs ten times since 2006-07. Upcoming Home Games- Saturday, Mar. 26 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Cincinnati – First Responders Night presented by Steindler Orthopedic Clinic- Wednesday, Apr. 6 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Wheeling – College Night presented by Hills Bank- Friday, Apr. 8 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Kalamazoo – Group Appreciation Night presented by United Iowa Financial- Saturday, Apr. 9 at 7:00 p.m. vs. Indy – Fan Appreciation Night presented by Steindler Orthopedic ClinicThe 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.