Coralville, Iowa –Ryan Kuffner tallied a hat trick and the last three goals of the game to carry the Iowa Heartlanders to a 4-2 come-from-behind win over the Kalamazoo Wings Friday at Xtream Arena. It was the third hat trick of the Heartlanders’ inaugural season and second in the last two weeks (Kris Bennett, 3/25). All three Kuffner goals came in the third period in a 12-minute span, including the game-sealing, empty-net strike with less than a minute to go.The Heartlanders trailed, 2-0, before scoring four unanswered to claim the victory.Kuffner’s first strike tied the game, 2-2, with 12:42 remaining in the third period. Kuffner received a cross-post pass from Kris Bennett just inside the right-wing circle and tapped it past a diving Trevor Gorsuch. It marked the third game in a row with a goal.The Princeton grad Kuffner then gave the Heartlanders the lead less than two minutes later. Kuffner took a shot from the left circle that was saved and the rebound kicked into the left corner. Riese Zmolek chased it down, fed it back to Kuffner in the slot, and he hammered it home.Kris Bennett assisted on two of Kuffner’s goals including the empty netter.The first goal of the game for Iowa came from Luke Nogard at 11:37 of the first, cutting Kalamazoo’s lead to 2-1. He sent the puck whizzing through two Wings defenders following a Zach White between-the-legs pass.Trevin Kozlowski was fantastic in net for the Heartlanders in his first game this month. He tallied 26 saves in the win and was named the game’s third star. Trevor Gorsuch took the loss for Kalamazoo with 35 denials on 38 shots.Box Score
The final home game of Iowa’s regular season is Fan Appreciation Night, presented by Steindler Orthopedic Clinic at 7:00 p.m. against Indy, with a trading card giveaway presented by the Iowa City Area Sports Commission. There will be discounted Heartlander lager and other select beer.Iowa will wear the team’s brand-new third jerseys for the next two games. Replicas are available at The Silo Team Store and at shopheartlanders.com. 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. 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.