Toledo, OH – The Iowa Heartlanders outshot the Toledo Walleye, 45-24, but fell, 5-3, Saturday at Huntington Center. Walleye netminder John Lethemon blocked 17 shots in the first, 13 in a perfect second period and yielded once in the third to deny the Heartlanders a come-from-behind win. Meanwhile, the Walleye’s Trenton Bliss scored twice in the third, including an empty-net strike to ice the game. Sam Craggs scored the game-winning goal at 4:25 of the third.
David Spacek ripped his first of his ECHL career to make it a one-goal game with 7:57 to go in the game, cutting the lead to one before Bliss’ empty-net strike.
Iowa and the Walleye rematch Sunday at 4:15 p.m.
The Heartlanders allowed a goal at 1:45 of the first, then went to work with two goals in the first. First, Yuki Miura took a pass at the slot, faked with his shoulders and elevated it over Lethemon’s shoulder to give Iowa their first goal. Tanner MacMaster and Landon Kosior assisted at 6:05. Less than two minutes later, Odeen Tufto set up behind the net at the right post and caught the Walleye’s defense relaxing. Tufto quickly wristed it off a Walleye and in for his second of the season at 7:48, assisted by Will Calverley and Jesse Jacques.
Mitch Lewandowski tied the game at two with 11.9 left in the first. Iowa outshot Toledo, 19-8, in the first period. Iowa took 13 more shots in the second, but took the game into the third tied, 2-2.
Peyton Jones took the loss with 19 saves (4 GA).
Next Friday and Saturday, the Heartlanders visit Kalamazoo for 6:00 p.m. puck drops. On Sun., Dec. 10, Iowa and Fort Wayne square off for the second time this season, ending Iowa’s franchise-record ten-game road trip.
Iowa is next at home Dec. 15-17 vs. Toledo, which includes the annual Teddy Bear Toss game on Sat., Dec. 16 at 6:05 p.m.
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.