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Game 29 Preview: Iowa at Indy

Landers ring in 2022 with road showdown at Indy

Coralville, IA  – The Iowa Heartlanders (9-15-3-1, 22 pts.) play their first game of the calendar year at the Indy Fuel (9-14-2-2, 22 pts.) Sunday at 3:00 p.m. Each team has won at home in the two games played so far in the season series.

Iowa is 4-3-1-0 over the team’s last eight games, narrowly dropping a 1-0 defeat at Fort Wayne Friday.

Indy most recently dropped, 7-2, in the outdoor game at Toledo’s Fifth Third Field against the Toledo Walleye on New Year’s Eve.

The Landers continue the team’s five-game road trip at Rapid City Jan. 7-9 with three games at Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Iowa’s next home game is Jan. 14 vs. Kansas City.

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NHL Affiliates: Iowa Heartlanders (Minnesota Wild/Iowa Wild) | Indy Fuel (Chicago Blackhawks, Rockford IceHogs)

Last Time Out
The Iowa Heartlanders received 33 saves from netminder Corbin Kaczperski in his first ECHL start, but the Fort Wayne Komets scored the game’s only goal to win, 1-0, Friday at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Kaczperski made 10 saves in a scoreless first period, then added 14 more in the second. In the third, the Landers hung in there and netted six shots on Bailey Brkin, who earned his first ECHL shutout with 14 saves.

Matthew Barnaby tallied the game’s only goal for Fort Wayne at 2:37 of the second, redirecting a left-point shot.

Season Series
The teams last played Nov. 12 at Xtream Arena and Iowa won, 5-3, led by Trevin Kozlowski (26 saves) and two goals from Kris Bennett. Kaid Oliver scored his first career goal against Cale Morris (28 saves, 4 GA).

With the game tied at three late in the second, Bennett scored the first short-handed goal in Landers history to put Iowa ahead for good. Cole Stallard then potted his first ECHL goal into an empty net with 1:30 to go in the third.

Iowa has led in both season-series matchups; on Nov. 5 the Fuel overcame a 3-1 deficit with five unanswered strikes.
Scouting the Fuel
Head Coach Doug Christiansen is in his third season at the helm; he led the Fuel to a postseason appearance last season and the squad was in the running for the 2019-19 playoffs before the ECHL canceled the remainder of the season due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Christiansen recently brought back defenseman Craig Wyszomirski into the fold who played for Christiansen in 2018-19 in Manchester and 2019-20 with Indy. The fifth-year blueliner from Mahwah, NJ has played in 186 ECHL games.

Indy’s leading goal scorer Spencer Watson has tallied 14 goals this season.

Upcoming Home Games
Friday, January 14th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Kansas City: Hockey is for Everyone Night
Wednesday, January 26th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Indy – Sports Career Fair / College Night
Friday, January 28th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Kalamazoo - Boy Scouts Night
Saturday, January 29th at 7:00 p.m. vs. Kalamazoo – Marvel ™ theme night

The Heartlanders Season ticket memberships, group tickets, mini-plans, flex vouchers and single-game tickets are available for the Heartlanders inaugural season by calling 319-569-GOAL and visiting