Iowa Heartlanders fall to Kalamazoo Wings in overtime

The Heartlanders lost, 3-2, at Xtream Arena Sunday afternoon.

Forward+Cole+Golka+reacts+after+losing+a+hockey+game+between+the+Iowa+Heartlanders+and+the+Wheeling+Nailers+at+the+Xtream+Arena+in+Coralville%2C+Iowa+on+Wednesday%2C+Oct.+27%2C+2021.+The+Wheeling+Nailers+defeated+the+Heartlanders+4-3.+

Gabby Drees

Forward Cole Golka reacts after losing a hockey game between the Iowa Heartlanders and the Wheeling Nailers at the Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2021. The Wheeling Nailers defeated the Heartlanders 4-3.

Jake Olson, Sports Reporter


The Iowa Heartlanders fell to the Kalamazoo Wings, 3-2, Sunday afternoon at Xtream Arena in Coralville. 

Iowa lost in heartbreaking fashion, surrendering a deciding goal in overtime. The Heartlanders went 1-0-1 in two games at home last week.

Giving up just three goals was quite a feat for Iowa Sunday, as Kalamazoo registered 44 shots on goal. Iowa goaltender Hunter Jones racked up 41 saves on the day.

Iowa didn’t score a goal in the first period Sunday. Though, the Heartlanders did score twice in the second period. Forward Kris Bennett and defenseman Jake Linhart were the Heartlanders that put the puck in the back of the net in the second period.

“I thought our neutral zone was good tonight,” Heartlanders head coach Gerry Fleming said postgame. “We generated some offense by creating turnovers in the neutral zone. This is something we can build upon for the future.”

Neither the Hearlanders, nor the Wings scored in the third period. Jones saved a whopping 12 shots in the frame.

“I think he won at the net,” Fleming said of Jones. “He wanted to redeem himself.”

Ultimately, a mishandled change of possession in overtime doomed the Heartlanders Sunday.

“We talked between the second and third,” Fleming said. “Turnovers on the blue line on offense or defense will pump it. Sure enough, they came back on two-on-zero and put the puck behind the net.”

BIG PICTURE

Sunday’s game will not be marked as a win or a loss on the Heartlanders season-long record. Per ECHL rules, overtime losses are charted in the ties columns of win-loss records.

So, the Heartlanders’ record is now 2-6-2. 

Iowa has played one other overtime game this season. The Heartlanders lost to the Wheeling Nailers, 4-3, in overtime at Xtream Arena Oct. 27. Though, like Sunday’s game, Iowa’s Oct. 27 matchup with Wheeling was counted as a tie, not a loss.

PUCK STOPS HERE

Jones stopped all but three of Kalamazoo’s shots Sunday. The 21-year-old played three periods and an overtime frame.

For a 38-minute stretch, Jones didn’t surrender a single goal to the Wings.

UP NEXT

The Heartlanders’ next three games will come on the road. Iowa will travel to Toledo, Ohio, to take on the Walleye Friday and Saturday. Then, the Heartlanders will journey to Fort Wayne, Kansas, to play the Komets Sunday.

The Heartlanders have already lost to the Walleye twice this season. In two home games against Toledo Oct. 29-30, Iowa was outscored, 15-3.

The Komets and Walleye are situated in second and third place, respectively, in the Western Conference standings.

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