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HOME GAME DAY: Heartlanders open season vs. Rapid City Thursday

Thursday, October 19th
HOME GAME DAY: Heartlanders open season vs. Rapid City Thursday

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders open the 2023-24 regular season against the Rapid City Rush Thursday at 6:35 p.m. with heightened expectations and a number of notable returners expected to play large roles in the team's third season. The Heartlanders play Rapid City Thursday and Friday to open up the 2023-24 season. Both games are at 6:35 p.m. Friday’s game features a Magnet Schedule Giveaway, presented by Paul Park Real Estate. 

Promotion: Opening Night

Game Day Guide: 
5:35 PM: Doors Open
6:25 PM: Be In Your Seats For Pregame Show 
6:35 PM: Puck Drop

Bag Policy: Xtream Arena will implement a clear bag policy for all ticketed events.  A clear 12” x 6” x 12” bag or smaller will be permitted as well as small clutch style purses or wallets. Patrons will be asked to return any bag that does not meet this criteria to their vehicle prior to entry. Diaper bags or medical bags are allowed to exceed that size limit, but will be searched. Small clutch style purses or wallets no larger than 4.5” x 6.5” are permitted as well.

Parking: Parking is available in the South Parking Lot located by the Hyatt Regency Convention Center Entrance or the North Ramp located by the Hyatt Regency main entrance. All Heartlanders ticket buyers receive a parking pass for free parking to Heartlanders games. For a parking map, click here. For questions about the Heartlanders parking, please call 319-569-4625 or visit this link.

3 Things To Know
- The Heartlanders are starting their 36-game home schedule Friday. The team plays 11 Saturdays and more than 20 weekend games this season.
- Derek Damon is entering his second year behind the bench as Head Coach and his third season in Iowa after serving as assistant coach during the team's inaugural season.
- The Heartlanders haven't played Rapid City since the 2021-22 season and Thursday is the first time ever Rapid City visits Xtream Arena.

Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Rapid City Rush (Calgary Flames/Calgary Wranglers)

Scouting the Heartlanders 
The Heartlanders are looking to build on a strong second half of the season; the team finished above hockey .500 the final three months of the season and finished six points back of Kalamazoo for fifth in the division. 

Yuki Miura is among the team's most-experienced returners. He has played every game of his professional career with the Heartlanders. Kevin McKernan was one of the team's defensive leaders last season and is back with Iowa after the Landers acquired him from Greenville last season. Among new faces, Davis Koch (5th pro season) and Odeen Tufto (3rd season) are expected to provide a scoring touch up front. Tufto has produced at just under a point-per-game pace in his ECHL career.

Scouting Rapid City
The Rush are looking to return to the Kelly Cup Playoffs after narrowly missing by three points in 2022-23. Scott Burt is entering his third season as Head Coach of the Rush and has led Rapid City to back-to-back seasons with at least 33 wins. Last season, Rapid City went 33-34-5-0, good for 71 points and sixth in the Mountain Division, just behind Wichita (73 points) and Utah (74 points, qualified for playoffs). The top four teams in each division make the Kelly Cup Playoffs. The Rush finished last season 12th in goals for and 24th in goals against. Rapid City was one of six teams in the Western Conference with at least 20 home victories.

In Burt's first season at the helm (2021-22), Rapid City had their best ECHL season ever (83 points) and defeated Allen in the first round of the postseason, their second ECHL playoff series victory ever. 2023-24 is Rapid City's 10th in the ECHL and 16th overall (CHL from 2008-14).

Rose Club Memberships & Tickets Now Available For 2023-24 Season
Rose Club Season Ticket Memberships, Partial Plans, Mini-Plans, Flex Tickets and Single-Game Tickets are now available for the 2023-24 season, the Heartlanders’ third in the ECHL. Call 319-569-GOAL or visit iowaheartlanders.com/tickets for more information.