Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders blasted the Fort Wayne Komets, 6-3, thanks to goals from five skaters and 32 saves from Corbin Kaczperski Friday at Xtream Arena. The Heartlanders have won eight of their last nine games and stand four points back of Cincinnati for the fourth and final playoff spot. There were 152 combined penalty minutes, 16 short of the highest total this season set by the Heartlanders and Komets (168) on Feb. 26 at Xtream Arena. Iowa had 58 of the 152 PIM. Kris Bennett led all players with four points (2g).Iowa took a 5-3-0-0 lead in the season series against Fort Wayne, with the final game taking place Mar. 23 at Xtream Arena.Zach White struck first for the Landers with five minutes left in the first. Ryan Kuffner found a cutting White over the middle who finished the power play with a slap shot. Lynden McCallum responded for the Komets 30 seconds later to even things up.Less than a minute passed before Iowa retook the lead courtesy of Alex Carlson. He ripped a snipe through traffic from the right point, with the assists going to Kuffner and Bryce Misley. It was Carlson’s first professional goal. Drake Rymsha scored for the Komets late in the period to make the score 2-2 heading into the second. The Heartlanders outshot the Komets, 19-10, in the first 20 minutes.Kuffner got in the scoring column at 6:15 of the second. On the power play, Kuffner fired the puck from the bottom of the right circle. He snuck the puck in through the severe angle to give the Landers the lead. However, the Komets tied the game again for the Komets at 14:03 of the middle frame on a 5-on-3 man advantage.The Heartlanders scored the eventual game-winning goal with less than five minutes to go in the second. Fedor Gordeev raced nearly the length of the ice with the puck before dropping it for Kris Bennett in the right circle. The rookie snatched the puck and knifed it over the line to end the period. Bennett scored again six minutes into the third for his team leading 25th goal of the season. Bryce Misley also got in on the scoring action with a power-play goal with just over four minutes left. It was Misley’s first game back with the Heartlanders after skating 18 games with their AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild.Iowa never trailed in the game despite Fort Wayne tying it three times. They were strong on special teams, killing five of the Komets six power-play opportunities while converting 3/9 themselves.Samuel Harvey took the loss, saving 31.Box ScoreIowa hosts Kalamazoo on Saturday, Mar. 12 at 7:00 p.m. with a special appearance by Miss Iowa Grace Lynn Keller. It’s the first of three straight vs. Kalamazoo; the clubs face off in Michigan Mar. 18-19. The Heartlanders then return home for another three-game home stand Mar. 23-26.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 Games- Saturday, Mar. 12th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Kalamazoo – Appearance by Miss Iowa Grace Lynn Keller- 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.