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Game 9 Preview: Iowa at Wichita

Friday, November 11th
Game 9 Preview: Iowa at Wichita

Wichita, KS – The Iowa Heartlanders visit south-central Kansas for the first time in team history, trekking to INTRUST Bank Arena Saturday at 7:05 p.m. to oppose the Wichita Thunder. This is the third matchup ever between Iowa and Wichita.Iowa is playing its final game of the weekend before enjoying a week off, returning to the ice at Xtream Arena for Nickelodeon SpongeBob SquarePants Day presented by Advance Auto Parts on Sun., Nov. 20 at 2:05 p.m. vs. Kalamazoo.Friday in Kansas City, Matthew Boucher (2g, 2a) and Mike Pastujov (2g, 1a) each generated their first multi-goal games of the season in an 8-5 defeat.The Thunder visited Tulsa Friday and netminder Thunder goalie Evan Buitenhuis blocked 47 shots in a 4-3 overtime win. Cole MacDonald scored the winning goal at 3:35 of the extra session.Broadcast Coverage: Watch on flohockey.tv. Listen on mixlr.com/goheartlanders  Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Wichita Thunder (San Jose Sharks/San Jose Barracuda)Plenty of goals Friday in WichitaMatthew Boucher registered his seventh career ECHL multi-goal game, and his first-ever four-point game, Friday in an 8-5 loss at Wichita. He collected a point on each of Iowa’s first four goals, including two assists to Mike Pastujov. Boucher also tied a team record with 11 shots on goal Friday. Since coming back from the AHL, Boucher has scored six points (3g) in three games. The rookie Pastujov scored his first career multi-goal effort and had three points, giving him seven points in his first three games (3g). At Michigan last year (NCAA), Pastujov had 26 points (11g) in 42 games.Matt Murphy is on a three-game point streak and has six assists in his first three ECHL games of the season. The former 2021 Kelly Cup Champion has 33 points (10g) in 57 career ECHL contests.All-time series/Season-series outlookLast season, the Landers and Thunder played twice at Xtream Arena and Iowa went 1-0-0-1 in those games. The first time the clubs played on Dec. 1, 2021, Wichita prevailed in the shootout. Iowa won its first game ever against the Thunder on Feb. 23, 2022, a 7-3 final that happened in the middle of Iowa’s franchise-record seven-game winning streak.Interestingly, after Wichita beat Iowa in the December matchup, the Thunder lost its next 14 games (0-11-3-0). The next times the team’s played in December, Iowa snapped Wichita’s season-best 11-game points streak (9-0-2-0).The Heartlanders oppose the Thunder four times this season but Saturday’s game is the only in Kansas; the clubs square up Mar. 22-25 for three games at Xtream Arena. Scouting the ThunderThe Thunder visited Tulsa Friday and earned a 4-3 overtime win.  Now affiliated with the NHL’s San Jose Sharks and San Jose Barracuda, the Thunder return former Heartlanders defenseman Billy Constantinou to the team this season (9a in 8 games this year). Last season, Constantinou registered six goals (20 pts.) with Iowa in 38 games. Constantinou was 20 years old last season playing with Iowa and is the youngest player ever to suit up for the roster.The Thunder also return last season’s points leader Jay Dickman (58 pts. In 2021-22). The fifth-year professional has played four seasons with the Thunder.  Cross another state off the listKansas is the eighth state the Heartlanders will play a road game in ever. The other seven are: Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, South Dakota, Texas and West Virginia.Enjoy this week, because it’ll get busy The Heartlanders don’t play between Nov. 12-20, but then return with a torrent of games in trips over the next three weeks. Between Nov. 20-27, the Landers play five games in eight days. The team is then on the road from Dec. 2-10 with a five-game trip to Canada (at Trois-Rivieres and at Newfoundland). When Iowa returns from the five-game Canadian swing, it’ll have played 13 road games and seven home games on the season.  Upcoming home games and ticket informationIowa returns home on Sun., Nov. 20 for SpongeBob SquarePants Nickelodeon Day presented by Advance Auto Parts. View the team’s full promo schedule at iowaheartlanders.com/promotions. Single-game tickets, group ticket options, partial plans and season ticket memberships are available for Heartlanders home games at Xtream Arena.  Call 319-569-PUCK or visit iowaheartlanders.com/tickets for more information.