Coralville, Iowa – When you speak with Heartlanders forward Yuki Miura, you get the sense his impact in Iowa has stretched far beyond the ice. He’s done it all for three seasons with his signature smile, hard-working mentality, and selflessness that eastern Iowans have come to embrace.
Throughout the summer Miura and Heartlanders captain Kevin McKernan spent much of their “off-time” on the ice at the Coral Ridge Mall, teaching hockey camps and skating camps to prepare the “first generation” of future Heartlanders players.
The two Heartlanders aided Head Coach Derek Damon to develop foundational hockey skills and a love for the game among hundreds of youth players in Iowa City.
“It was so fun to see and play together with the kids, they always make me laugh,” Miura said of the experience. “That was the big thing I wanted to do this summer.”
Yuki and his wife decided to spend their summer in Coralville instead of returning to their home in Toyko, Japan. This has happened, in part, because of Miura’s love for our local community.
“Even when you’re driving or walking, people are very nice to you,” Miura said. “Even if you don’t know someone walking to you, they’re going to say hello. It’s great.”
Miura has also found a slice of “home” more than 6,100 miles away from his native Toyko; he and his wife have grown close with a group of a few dozen Japanese-speaking Iowa City residents. This November, Miura put his teaching skills to the test at the University of Iowa, serving as a guest lecturer for an advanced Japanese language class. All part of the experience of becoming a community staple.
Just as he has embraced eastern Iowa, Miura feels a growing sense the community has started to embrace the Heartlanders in even greater numbers in year 3.
“I feel the Landers are getting known. I believe it’s going to be better and bigger year by year, so we just have to keep doing small things that make huge impacts for the next couple of years.”
Upcoming Home Games
The Heartlanders take on Kalamazoo on Wed., Feb. 7 at 6:35 p.m. at Xtream Arena. Iowa hosts Country Night, presented by KISS Country, on Fri., Feb. 9 at 6:35 p.m. vs. Cincinnati. The game features $6 domestic drafts and $3.50 fountain drinks. On Sat., Feb. 10 at 6:05 p.m. vs. Cincinnati, Iowa is home again for Cancer Awareness Night pres. by iHeartMedia. Join us as we recognize the fight against all forms of cancer and honor those that have battled and are currently fighting cancer.
The Heartlanders are home for Valentine’s Day on Wed., Feb. 14 at 6:35 p.m. vs. Indy, a perfect last-minute gift to take your loved ones to the game. On Friday, Feb. 16 at 6:35 p.m. vs. Indy, it’s Star Wars Night at Xtream Arena. Celebrate with characters on the concourse.
The Heartlanders oppose Indy again on Sat., Feb. 17 at 6:05 p.m. for Blackout Night, presented by DASH Auctions. The Heartlanders will have a glow banger giveaway to the first 1,500 fans. Wear black to the game, and the team will wear special blackout jerseys that will be available for auction on the DASH Auctions app.
Join the fun at Xtream Arena in the 2023-24 season
Here are some of the best options to make sure you experience the family-friendly entertainment of Heartlanders Hockey at Xtream Arena this season!
Flex Plans: Enjoy the service, savings and game dates that work best for you! Flex plans include “any game” ticket vouchers that are good for any home game during the 2023-24 regular season.
18-game plans: With more than half the home season remaining, join us with an 18-game ticket plan, including the many perks, savings and advantages of being a half-season member.
12-game plans: Grab tickets to your favorite 12 games! 12-game plans include savings on individually-priced tickets!
Group Tickets: Make a big impact with your group and spend an evening with the Heartlanders. Starting at a special rate of $15/Ticket. A group comprises 10 or more people and is perfect for parties, families, co-workers, clients and more.