Nearly 4000 fans watch Iowa conclude season with 4-2 win
Coralville, Iowa – Nick Nardella scored a hat trick in a season-finale victory over the Wheeling Nailers, 4-2, Saturday at Xtream Arena. Nardella scored the first three goals of his career in the game; he had one goal this season at the NCAA level for Michigan Tech.
Iowa concluded the regular season with a 22-36-13-1 record, good for 58 points. The team enters this offseason with a number of notable potential returners that have built a strong, young corps.
The rookie Nardella scored his first 12:48 into the first period to tie the game at one after Jake Durflinger fired a pass to net front that Nardella redirected into the back of the net. His second goal came 16:08 into the second period after jolting a rebounded shot past the right pad of Oskar Autio to tie the game, 2-2. Eleven seconds later, Nardella scored his third goal on a slap-shot off the draw to beat Autio and put Iowa up, 3-2.
Wheeling opened the scoring 9:23 into the first period. David Jankowski snuck the puck over the left pad of Mitch Benson off a rebound to put the Nailers up, 1-0. 10:22 into the second period, Tanner Laderoute fed Brooklyn Kalmikov and he fired top shelf to put the Nailers up, 2-1.
Zach White put the nail in the coffin with an empty-net goal 18:16 into the third to put Iowa up, 4-2.
Benson ended the night with 26 saves for Iowa and finished the end of his season with three wins, two coming over the last two nights. He signed with Iowa after completing his NCAA career in March with Boston College.
Autio went 19-for-22 between the pipes for Wheeling.
Rose Club Memberships Now Available For 2023-24 Season
Rose Club Season Ticket Memberships are now available for the 2023-24 season, the Heartlanders’ third in the ECHL. Call 319-569-PUCK or visit iowaheartlanders.com/tickets for more information.