Iowa Heartlanders wrap up three-game weekend

The Heartlanders went 1-2 in the three games they played this weekend.

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Gabby Drees

Iowa defenseman Billy Constantinou attempts to get the puck by Indy forward Brent Gates during a hockey game between the Iowa Heartlanders and Indy Fuel at the Xtream Arena in Coralville, Iowa on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021. Iowa won 5-3.

Isaac Goffin, Sports Reporter


The Iowa Heartlanders went 1-2 in the three games they played this weekend.

Iowa fell to the Kansas City Mavericks, 5-4, at Xtream Arena in Coralville Friday night.

The Heartlanders won one of the two games they played against the Indy Fuel at Indiana Farmers Coliseum in Indianapolis. Iowa fell, 4-3, Saturday evening and then picked up a 2-1 victory Sunday.

Iowa forward Jake Smith scored four goals on the weekend, including a game-winner Sunday. Smith’s Sunday game-winner came with just 68 seconds left on the clock in the third period.

BIG PICTURE

After their three-game weekend, the 12-17-5-1 Heartlanders still sit in last place in the ECHL Central Division standings.

The Toledo Walleye currently lead the ECHL Central Division. Iowa is more than 10 points out of first place.

A flurry of transactions

Defenseman Billy Constantinou played just one game for the Heartlanders this weekend.

At the conclusion of Friday’s game, Constantinou’s Heartlander teammates hopped on a bus to travel to Indianapolis. Constatinou, however, headed west to Des Moines.

Constatinou wasn’t recalled by the Iowa Wild — the Heartlanders’ American Hockey League affiliate. Constatinou actually suited up for the Chicago Wolves — the opponent the Wild faced Saturday.

The Wolves offered Constantinou a professional tryout agreement, and he accepted.

With Constantinou no longer at their disposal, the Heartlanders were in need of some depth, and they got some.

The Heartlanders activated forward Michael Johnstone off the Commissioner’s Exempt List Saturday. Johnstone competed in Sunday’s contest.

On Sunday, the Heartlanders roster endured four transactions. Most notably, the Heartlanders added emergency backup goalkeeper Ben Churchfield because Trevin Kozlowski — the Heartlanders’ starting goaltender — was recalled by the Iowa Wild.

UP NEXT

The Heartlanders won’t play another game until Jan. 21, when they travel to the Huntington Center in Toledo, Ohio, to take on the Walleye.

The Heartlanders will continue their trip east Jan. 22 and 23, when they head to Wesbanco Arena in Wheeling, West Virgina, for a two-game set with the Nailers.

The elongated break between now and the Heartlanders’ next three games can, in part, be attributed to the ECHL All-Star Game. The ECHL All-Star Game will be played Jan. 17 at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Florida and hosted by the Jacksonville Icemen.

Heartlanders forward Kris Bennett was slated to play in the ECHL All-Star Game until he was recalled by the Iowa Wild.

Puck drop for the ECHL All-Star Game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The contest will air live on NHL Network.

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