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Heartlanders ride 3-game point streak into Saturday home game

Saturday, March 25th
Heartlanders ride 3-game point streak into Saturday home game

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders, proud ECHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild, seek a win in the rubber game of the week against the Wichita Thunder on Heartland Heroes Night Saturday at 7:05 p.m. The team will celebrate the selfless contributions of frontline workers and heroes that help make eastern Iowa special.Iowa and Wichita are meeting for the third straight game and each has won once in overtime. Iowa took the overtime victory Friday, overcoming a 2-0 deficit with three goals on their final seven shots. Tyler Busch scored his first overtime-winning goal ever, and the second game-winning tally of his career, on the breakaway two minutes into the extra session.The Heartlanders hit the road for five straight games over the next two weeks, then wrap up the ECHL season with three home games vs. Wheeling on Apr. 12, Apr. 14 and Apr. 15.Broadcast Coverage: Watch online at flohockey.tv. Listen on mixlr.com/goheartlanders. Watch on Mediacom MC22 (Mediacom subscribers only: channel 22, 722 and 822).Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Wichita Thunder (San Jose Sharks/San Jose Barracuda)Last Time OutThe Iowa Heartlanders trailed, 2-0, with seven minutes to go, but scored twice to force overtime and Tyler Busch won the game two minutes into the extra session, 3-2, Friday at Xtream Arena. Kevin McKernan and Tommy Parrottino scored the late Heartlanders goals to tie the game at two. At 2:16 of overtime, Nolan Orzeck (2a) intercepted a pass at center ice and he pushed it ahead to Busch and he fired the game-winning goal past Roman Basran on the breakaway.Hunter Jones won with 23 saves, besting Basran (36 saves, 3 GA).Heartlanders and Thunder finding the right pieces Both the Heartlanders and Thunder have undergone significant roster movement since the first matchup of the season series in November. Iowa has 11 active skaters and one goaltender that are new to the roster since the last meeting. This week alone, Iowa has added F Brandon Puricelli, F Jesse Jacques, G Mitch Benson and D Marek Korencik from the NCAA ranks to continue building the roster for a successful future.  Wichita has 11 new skaters and two goaltenders in that same time. This excludes players that joined each team from mid-November – mid-March that are no longer on Iowa or Wichita.Iowa has had 55 players appear in a game this season and Wichita has rostered 43.All-Time Series Iowa and Wichita play for the sixth time ever Saturday and Iowa is 2-0-2-1 in the all-time series. Four of the first five matchups ever have gone to overtime.Five of the six all-time games have been played at Xtream Arena. Iowa’s lone visit to Wichita came in Nov. 2022.Interestingly, the Thunder and Heartlanders have often met at “flex moments” of seasons. In 2021-22, Wichita beat Iowa on Dec. 1, 2021, the Thunder’s final win of an eight-game points streak, but then went on a a 14-game winless stretch for the next month and a half. The teams met two months later in Coralville in Feb. 2022 and Iowa snapped the Thunder’s 11-game points streak. Wichita then proceeded to win two of its next 13 games to fall out of playoff contention.Season SeriesThe Heartlanders and Thunder meet for the third time Friday at 7:05 p.m.Tommy Parrottino is the only Iowa player to score twice in the series; he and Nolan Orzeck top the Landers with three series points.Wichita’s Michal Stinil has scored in every game of the series and tops Wichita with three goals and four points.Hunter Jones is 1-0-1-0 against Wichita this season, allowing five goals in two games.Upcoming home games and ticket informationView the team’s full promotional schedule at iowaheartlanders.com/promotions. The Heartlanders final three home games of the season take place Wednesday, Apr. 12, Friday, Apr. 14 and Saturday, Apr. 15 vs. the rival Wheeling Nailers. On Apr. 12 at 7:05 p.m., it’s a Wednesday night matchup presented by Mercy Iowa City. On Apr. 14-15, it’s fan appreciation weekend, with puck drops both nights at 7:05 p.m. The game on Apr. 14 is presented by United Iowa Financial. On Apr. 15, we’re extending stick tapes to our fans with a jam-packed final home game of the regular season, including a game-worn jersey auction, player card giveaway presented by Iowa City Area Sports Commission and a fanbango giveaway presented by Steindler Orthopedic Clinic.Single-game tickets, group ticket options, partial plans and season ticket memberships are available for Heartlanders home games at Xtream Arena.  Call 319-569-goal or visit iowaheartlanders.com/tickets for more information.Tickets are available for all Heartlanders home games by visiting iowaheartlanders.com/tickets. Find the full promotional schedule at iowaheartlanders.com/promotions