Home crowd a factor in Iowa Heartlanders’ win over Kansas City Mavericks

The Heartlanders won their first-ever game, 7-4.


Jeff Sigmund

Fans look on at Kansas City Mavericks hockey players at Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa, on Oct. 22, 2021. The Mavericks lost to the Iowa Heartlanders, 7-4. The game was the first in Heartlanders history.

Dawson Moore, Sports Reporter

A new chant rang through Xtream Arena for the first time Friday night. Nearly 4,100 fans at the venue belted “Let’s go ‘Landers,” throughout the first game in Iowa Heartlanders franchise history.

The Heartlanders ultimately won their first-ever game, downing the Kansas City Mavericks, 7-4.

Interactive activities like zamboni rides during intermission, the Scheels Chuck a Puck, and “Dance Cams” kept fans engaged throughout the 60-minute contest.

“It was electric,” Heartlander head coach Gerry Fleming said postgame. “The energy was great, and it was a really good game for a fan to watch. There were a lot of goals and some big-time saves. Overall, it was back-and-forth throughout the game. As a fan, you got the whole package tonight.”

Friday’s game was chippy from the jump. Three fights broke out on the contest, electrifying the crowd at Xtream Arena.

Fans at Xtream Arena were also treated to a goal very early in Friday’s game, as Iowa forward Ryan Kuffner scored 25 seconds into the match.

“When you’re playing at home, you feel that energy, and you feed off of it,” Fleming said. “There were good positive vibes tonight in the arena right from the beginning. A goal early got the fans right into it, and that was a huge factor.”

The Heartlanders will now travel to Kansas City, to face the Mavericks for the second contest in a row. This time around, however, the Heartlanders will have to find a different source of energy to beat the Mavericks, as they won’t have the support of their home fans on the road.

Puck drop for Saturday’s Iowa-Kansas City game is set for 7:05 p.m. at Cable Dahmer Arena in Independence, Missouri. 

The Heartlanders will play their next home game on Oct. 27. They’ll welcome the Wheeling Nailers to Xtream Arena at 7 p.m. 

The Nailers are based out of Wheeling, West Virginia. The Nailers will play their first game of the 2021-22 season Saturday at 5:30 p.m. They’ll take on the Fort Wayne Komets at Allen County War Memorial Coliseum in Indiana.