Iowa Heartlanders drop third straight game

The Heartlanders fell to the Toledo Walleye, 5-2, on Saturday night.

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Gabby Drees

Heartlander goalie Hunter Jones attempts to block a goal during a hockey game between the Iowa Heartlanders and the Toledo Walleye at the Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa on Friday, Oct. 30, 2021. Jones allowed 10 goals for 34 attempts. The Walleye won against the Heartlanders, 10-1.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter


The Iowa Heartlanders lost to the Toledo Walleye, 5-2, on Saturday night at Xtream Arena to fall to 1-3-1 on the season.

The Walleye got off to a hot start on Saturday night, notching two goals in the first six minutes of the contest. The Heartlanders controlled much of the puck in the first period with two power plays, but couldn’t convert on a goal.

The Heartlanders got a stop early in the second period, leading to Iowa’s first goal by forward Cole Golka, a newcomer to Iowa. Golka scored the Heartlanders’ second goal later in the period.

“We were more physical [in the 2nd period] and were on their defense,” Heartlanders head coach Gerry Fleming said. “We got pucks in behind their defense, we floor checked and bumped them off pucks and as a result we made plays.”

While the momentum was leaning toward the Heartlanders going into the third period, the Walleye scored off a faceoff in their own territory. The Walleye scored two more quick goals, solidifying the loss for Iowa.

“We build off of it,” Fleming said. “It’s a moral victory, but moral victories don’t earn us points in the standings. We will build upon what we did well and continue to get better.”

BIG PICTURE

In their inaugural season, the Heartlanders are still trying to gel with their teammates — especially as players are being called up to the AHL’s Iowa Wild.

The Heartlanders top two forwards, Kris Bennett and Ryan Kuffner, were called up to the Iowa Wild earlier this week.

Bennett was the Heartlanders’ captain for the first three games of the season before he left for the Iowa Wild and tallied three goals and two assists.

JONES RACKS UP SAVES

Despite taking the loss as goalie, Hunter Jones tallied 36 saves on 40 shots on Saturday night. The Walleye scored their fifth goal on an empty net.

Jones has been the Heartlanders’ main goalkeeper through the first five games of the season, and has a 1-4 record.

UP NEXT

The Heartlanders will be on the road this week, with a trip to Cincinnati and Indianapolis. Iowa will take on the Cincinnati Cyclones on Thursday and Saturday, and the Indy Fuel on Friday. Following the road trip, the Heartlanders will be back at Xtream Arena to take on the Indy Fuel again.

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