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Wichita visits for first of three straight Wednesday

Tuesday, March 21st
Wichita visits for first of three straight Wednesday

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders, proud ECHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild, look to keep momentum from the weekend into a showdown at Xtream Arena vs. the Wichita Thunder Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday’s game features Buy-One-Get-One tickets available by calling 319-569-4625 or by clicking this link and entering HLBOGO as the promotional code.The Heartlanders won their last game, 2-0, at Kalamazoo Sunday for the second shutout in team history. Hunter Jones blocked 31 shots, including 13 in the third period, for his first ECHL shutout and third of his career.Wichita last played Saturday at home and bested Kansas City, 3-1 to split the weekend. The team faced Kansas City twice last weekend (Friday at KC, Saturday at WIC) and each team defended home ice with regulation victories.Iowa has six home games remaining in the regular season – three this week vs. Wichita and three from Apr. 12 – Apr. 15 vs. Wheeling. The Heartlanders have five more road games left in the 2022-23 season.Broadcast Coverage: Watch online at flohockey.tv. Listen on mixlr.com/goheartlanders.Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Wichita Thunder (San Jose Sharks/San Jose Barracuda)Jones continues to shineHunter Jones stopped 31 shots Sunday at Kalamazoo in a 2-0 victory, marking his first shutout with the Heartlanders and his first since he denied 35 shots for the Iowa Wild in a 2-0 win over Rockford (AHL) on May 9, 2021.This regular season, Jones has averaged 28 saves per appearance and is best on the Heartlanders with eight victories, a 3.11  goals against average and a .903 save percentage.The former second round pick of the Minnesota Wild (2020, 59th overall) is in his third professional campaign. Sunday marked the third shutout of his career (2 AHL, 1 ECHL).Give it up for DurfJake Durflinger scored for the second straight game Sunday at Kalamazoo, tallying the game-winning strike seven minutes into the first. That goal marked the first game-winner of his career; he scored on a breakaway set up by linemate Brendan Robbins.A rookie from Walnut Creek, CA, Durflinger has five goals and 13 points in 40 games. He also ranks third on Iowa with 67 penalty minutes.His five goals this campaign tie his high from his five-season NCAA career. While at Denver from 2017-21, Durflinger scored five goals his freshman and junior seasons. After his time at Denver, Durflinger completed his schooling at Merrimack College and scored three goals (9 pts.) in 2021-22.Wichita caught in tight raceThe Wichita Thunder (61 points) enter this week tied with Utah for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Mountain Division with 11 games to play. If the playoffs started today, Utah would earn the final spot because the Grizzlies have more regulation wins than Wichita.If the Thunder win Wednesday, they could jump three teams into second place, moving ahead of Allen (62 points) Kansas City (62 points) and Utah. Allen facesIdaho has clinched the Mountain Division with 99 points, followed by Allen (62), Kansas City (62), Utah (61), Wichita (61) and Rapid City (59). That means five teams are separated by three points in the competition for the second, third and fourth playoff positions entering the final three weeks of the season.Upcoming home games and ticket informationView the team’s full promotional schedule at iowaheartlanders.com/promotions. Iowa is next at home for three games Wednesday Mar. 22, Friday, Mar. 24 and Saturday, Mar. 25 vs. Wichita, with all puck drops at 7:05 p.m. On Mar. 24, the Heartlanders host the team’s first-ever Star Trek Night, showcasing our love for the show with fellow Trekkies. Fans are encouraged to dress as a Trekkie for a chance to win in-game activations and prizes. On Mar. 25, it’s Heartland Heroes night where the team will celebrate the selfless contributions of frontline workers and heroes that help make eastern Iowa a special place.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