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Heartlanders host Fort Wayne Friday at Xtream Arena

Friday, December 22nd
Heartlanders host Fort Wayne Friday at Xtream Arena

Heartlanders and Komets meet up again 


Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders, proud ECHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild, play their fifth home game in a row Friday at 6:35 p.m. against the Fort Wayne Komets.


The Heartlanders are aiming for their second straight win after taking out Fort Wayne, 4-2, Thursday. Iowa fell behind by one late in the second, but tied it on a strike from Casey Dornbach and then scored the last two goals of the game to win. Hunter Jones blocked 33 shots for his second win of the season.


Iowa is approaching the back end of six straight at home before starting a seven-game road trip after the holiday break against the Rapid City Rush Dec. 29-31 in South Dakota.


Iowa is tied with Fort Wayne for second in the Central Division at 11-10-4-1 (27 points). The Komets have won three of their last four and sit at 12-9-1-2 (27 points). Fort Wayne’s last loss two losses have come vs. Iowa. 


Get tickets for Heartlanders Home games: Iowaheartlanders.com/tickets

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.


Need to know
- Casey Dornbach is riding a seven-game points streak, best on the team this season. 

- Maxim Cajkovic has goals in four straight games, the longest streak by a Heartlanders player in 2023-24.

- Iowa has won five games this season when tied after two periods (5-1-1-1 record).

Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Fort Wayne Komets (Edmonton Oilers/Bakersfield Condors)


Max strikes again

Heartlanders forward Max Cajkovic scored the empty-net goal in the final minute, giving him ten goals this season. That matches his total from 41 games last season with Orlando and is one goal behind the most he’s ever had in a season (11 in 2021-22 combined between AHL Syracuse and ECHL Orlando).


The 22-year-old native of Bratislava, Slovakia was selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third round of the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. Minnesota acquired Cajkovic in a deal with Tampa Bay that also saw the Wild acquire forward Pat Maroon.


Komets offense flipping the script

The Komets scored 14 goals in three games last week against Utah and won all three games, the first time this month Fort Wayne scored at least three goals in three straight games. In the K’s previous seven games (Nov. 25-Dec. 10), the club was mired in a goal-scoring drought where they scored 14 goals.


Jack Dugan tops Fort Wayne with 26 points (6g), followed up by leading goal scorer Matt Wedman’s 24 points (11g).

Season Series

Iowa is 2-0-0-1 through the first three games of a seven-game series. Iowa has scored nine times and the Komets have seven goals.


Both teams have earned a come-from-behind win in the series. Iowa erased a 2-1 deficit for the win in Friday’s game. The Komets came back from two goals down in the series opener to win, 4-3, in the shootout.


Davis Koch leads the Heartlanders with three goals in the series, including the overtime-winning goal on Dec. 10 in Fort Wayne. 


This week is the only time the Komets visit Iowa this season. Iowa makes three separate trips to the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum (Thanksgiving, Dec. 10 and Jan. 6-7). 


Interestingly, the teams play all the games of their seven-game series in a six-week span. Last season, the clubs had head-to-head games in five separate months (November, January, February, March, April).



Next up
The Heartlanders are home vs. the Komets on Sat., Dec. 23 at 6:05 p.m.


The team hits the road for seven straight games after the ECHL holiday break, starting Fri., Dec. 29 at 8:05 p.m. vs. Rapid City. The club plays at Rapid City on Sat., Dec. 30 at 8:05 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 31 at 8:05 p.m. 


The Heartlanders are next at home Mon., Jan. 15 at 2:05 p.m. vs. Cincinnati – schools are off for the day and bring your kids out for a great MLK Day at Xtream Arena.


Iowa continues a three-game homestand vs. Wheeling on Fri., Jan. 19 at 6:35 p.m. on Affiliation Night presented by DASH Auctions, celebrating Iowa’s proud affiliation with the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild. On Sat., Jan. 20 at 6:05 p.m. against Wheeling, the Heartlanders are back at Xtream Arena for Dash’s Birthday Party, presented by Paul Park Real Estate. Join the Heartlanders mascot Dash and dozens of his mascot friends for a family-friendly Saturday night at Xtream Arena.



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.