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Game 1 Preview: Kansas City at Iowa

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders face the Kansas City Mavericks in the first regular season game in Heartlanders history at Xtream Arena Friday, October 22nd at 7:00 p.m. Tickets for the Heartlanders home opener at Xtream Arena are available at iowaheartlanders.com/tickets or by calling 319-569-GOAL.

The Heartlanders play in the 27-team ECHL and are proud affiliates of the AHL's Iowa Wild and NHL's Minnesota Wild, meaning the Wild will use the Heartlanders as the starting point of their development model for players entering the system. All 27 teams have NHL affiliations.

Broadcast Coverage: Listen at Iowaheartlanders.com/listenlive or mixlr.com/goheartlanders. Watch on MC-22 or on FloHockey 

NHL Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Kansas City Mavericks (Calgary Flames, Stockton Heat). 

15 years in the making
The Heartlanders' rise to the ECHL is a 15-year story; in 2006 the city first began to devise plans for an arena to be the centerpiece of an area that used to be known primarily as a truck stop. The "Iowa River Landing" had its first hotel and conference center open in 2006 and from there, local businesses and condos began to build their own plans to contribute to the neighborhood. Today, the "IRL" is home to dozens of local businesses and restaurants.

Construction of Xtream Arena began in 2018 and was completed in 2020. The ECHL officially approved Iowa's entry into the league in January 2021. The team is owned and operated by Deacon Sports & Entertainment. 
 
Getting to know the team
Gerry Fleming was named the first Head Coach in Heartlanders history in July 2021. He is entering his 24th consecutive season as a professional coach. He has never had a losing season as a Head Coach.

Defenseman Jake Linhart makes up a strong blue line and was the first player announced in team history. A third-year professional from Brookfield, WI, Linhart led Adirondack Thunder defensemen in points (53) from 2018-20.

The forward group is comprised of talented prospects, rookies with NCAA experience and some that have seen experience at higher levels. Among them, #37 Ryan Kuffner is the first Heartlanders player to have played in the NHL (10 GP with Detroit Red Wings).

In net, Hunter Jones is a former second-round selection of the Minnesota Wild. Trevin Kozlowski was one of the nation's top goalies last season at Army.