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Game 68 Preview: Kalamazoo at Iowa

Friday, April 8th
Game 68 Preview: Kalamazoo at Iowa

Final home weekend of Iowa Heartlanders season  

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders (27-31-8-1, 63 pts.) hit the final five games of the team’s inaugural season and look to get out of a two-game home slide Friday at 7:00 p.m vs. the Kalamazoo Wings (35-30-1-0, 71 pts.). Iowa last played the Wings at home Mar. 12 and Ryan Kuffner scored the tie-breaking goal in the final five minutes of the third to give Iowa a 4-3 win.There are two home games remaining in Iowa’s season and the Landers are looking to move above hockey .500 at Xtream Arena with a win tonight.Friday’s game is Group Appreciation Night presented by United Iowa Financial. The team’s final home game of the regular season is Fan Appreciation Night, presented by Steindler Orthopedic Clinic at 7:00 p.m. against Indy, with a team trading card giveaway presented by the Iowa City Area Sports Commission. The Heartlanders will also offer discounted Heartlander Lager and other select beers Saturday.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) | Kalamazoo Wings (Columbus Blue Jackets/Cleveland Monsters)Kalamazoo in the huntThe Heartlanders enter Friday with a chance to damage Kalamazoo’s hopes for the 2022 Kelly Cup Playoffs; Cincinnati is third in the Central Division at 73 points, Wheeling sits fourth at 72 and Kalamazoo is fifth at 71 points. The top four teams by points in the Central Division qualify as all teams are expected to complete the full 72-game season.Kalamazoo has a game in hand on Cincinnati.Further down the chain, Indy is mathematically alive with five games left (65 points), needing to make up at least seven points to qualify.Toledo has clinched the Central Division (93 points) and Fort Wayne is closing in on qualifying at 81 points.Scouting Iowa Kris Bennett registered two assists Wednesday vs. Wheeling in a 6-4 defeat, advancing him to a tie for 6th in the league in points (68). Bennett still leads the league with 34 goals, three ahead of Patrick Watling. The last time a first-year boasted the ECHL’s goal leader was 2003-04 (Mark Pederson, 44 goals, San Diego Gulls). Bennett leads qualified rookies averaging 1.51 points/game. Ryan Kuffner is third in the league, averaging 1.53 points/game (55 pts in 36 games).Jake Smith leads the ECHL with 12 power-play goals and Iowa’s man up remains fourth in the ECHL (23.6%). 

Upcoming Home Games

- 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.