Rapid City, SD – The Iowa Heartlanders, proud ECHL affiliate of the Minnesota Wild and Iowa Wild, play their second of three straight at the Rapid City Rush Saturday at 8:05 p.m.
The Heartlanders are in the second game of a seven-game road trip, the club’s second-longest road trip of the season. Iowa enters Saturday’s matchup on a three-game losing streak, last defeating Fort Wayne on Dec. 21.
Friday, Iowa allowed the first three goals and never got closer than a two-goal deficit in a 4-2 defeat against the Rush.
Iowa is 11-13-4-1 (27 pts.) and ranks fifth in the Central Division. The Rush are fourth in the Central Division with 26 points and a 11-13-4-0 record.
The teams play one more time this week on Sun., Dec. 31 at 8:05 p.m.
Get tickets for Heartlanders Home games: Iowaheartlanders.com/tickets
Game Day Guide:
7:50 PM: FloHockey broadcast and audio broadcast starts.
8:05 PM: Puck Drop
Watch on FloHockey: https://flosports.link/3tVsLmd
Listen on Mixlr: mixlr.com/goheartlanders
Need to know
- The Heartlanders have out shot Rapid City in all three games of the season series but are winless (0-2-1-0).
- The Heartlanders went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill Friday, tied for their strongest effort of the season (Oct. 29 at WIC).
- Rapid City has allowed a power-play goal in 12 of the last 14 games.
Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Rapid City Rush (Calgary Flames/Calgary Wranglers)
First pro goal for Hunter Lellig a big one for state of Iowa
Cedar Falls native Hunter Lellig tallied his first professional goal Friday in a 4-2 defeat. He is the first player born in Iowa to play for the Heartlanders. Lellig signed with Iowa this offseason after skating in his fifth NCAA season at Bowling Green. Over his collegiate career, the right-handed shot scored twice, both with the University of Minnesota-Duluth.
Lellig and Pavel Novak led Iowa with a goal and an assist in the two-goal loss, giving Lellig three points (1g) in 19 games this season.
Scouting the Rush
The Rush started a stretch of eight of 11 at home Friday vs. the Heartlanders, a chance to pull closer to hockey .500 at The Monument. Rapid City started winless in the team’s first seven home games (0-7-1-0), but those games came against the top teams in the division (Idaho, Kansas City and Tulsa). After that rough skid, the Rush swept Wichita in the team’s last home series Dec. 7-9 and ride a four-game home winning streak into Saturday’s game.
Rapid City scored 14 goals and allowed 15 in a high-scoring three-games series at Allen before the holiday break. The Rush scored a season-high ten goals and won 10-5 Dec. 20 at Allen.
Veteran Alex Aleardi has a team-high 29 points. Rookie Blake Bennett leads Rapid City with 12 goals. Bennett was one of the nation’s top goal scorers at AIC last season, tallying 22 times (5th in NCAA).
Let’s make Saturday nights alright
The Heartlanders are seeking their second Saturday road win of the season and their fourth overall. The Heartlanders started off their season by going 3-1-1-0 on Saturdays from Oct. 28-Nov. 26.
Peyton Jones has won two of Iowa’s three games on Saturdays.
Last Saturday, Iowa completed the pre-holiday slate with a 4-1 loss to Fort Wayne.
The Heartlanders are at the Rush again on 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 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.