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Kris Bennett named first captain in Heartlanders history

Riese Zmolek, Jake Linhart are alternate captains

Coralville, Iowa – The Iowa Heartlanders, proud ECHL affiliate of the Iowa Heartlanders and Iowa Wild, have named forward Kris Bennett the first Captain in team history. Riese Zmolek and Jake Linhart are the Heartlanders’ alternate captains.

Bennett, a 25-year-old native of Brampton, ON, has three goals and five points in three games with the Heartlanders. Bennett played in nine games for Stockton (AHL) last season and signed an AHL contract with the Iowa Wild this offseason.

Head Coach Gerry Fleming: “Beyond being a talented player on the ice, Kris has demonstrated the type of high-character attitude and leadership ability that will help elevate our group. Giving him the “C” is an extension of what he’s done in his time here to rally our group. We’re very excited to name him the first captain in team history.”

Bennett has played in four AHL contests this season with Iowa. The left-handed shot was an alternate captain in the OHL with Saginaw in 2017 and won a University Cup with the University of New Brunswick (USports) in 2019.   

Linhart is in his third ECHL season and has skated in 117 games (14g, 56 pts.) since coming to the league in 2018-19. He wore an “A” with the University of Wisconsin in his senior season. Linhart was the first player to sign with the Heartlanders in team history this offseason.

Zmolek, who captained Minnesota State last season and the Cedar Rapids RoughRiders in 2016-17, is back with the Heartlanders after his recent call-up to the Iowa Wild. Zmolek has seven penalty minutes and a plus-one rating in three Heartlanders contests this campaign. He signed an AHL deal with the Iowa Wild in July.

The Heartlanders return home to Xtream Arena for a pair of games Fri., Nov. 12 vs. Indy at 7:00 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 14 vs. Kalamazoo at 3:00 p.m. 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 iowaheartlanders.com/tickets.