116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CEDAR RAPIDS — The list of “firsts” added another subject last week for the Iowa Heartlanders.
The ECHL team had its initial shootout last week, losing to the Wichita Thunder, 3-2, last Wednesday night at Xtream Arena. Wichita won the shootout, 2-0.
Iowa rallied from a 2-0 hole to force extra time and had a pair of breakaways in overtime that Wichita goaltender Evan Buitenhuis stopped.
“The biggest thing with us is that we had possession time, we had zone time, but we didn’t have any shots. We passed up Grade-A opportunities to make the extra pass or the extra (fake) to hold on to the puck an extra second longer as the play,” Heartlanders Coach Gerry Fleming said. “But normally the play is to get into the blue paint and create some havoc. That’s something that we’ve been focusing on, talking about over time. We’re going to increase our chances of scoring by volume shots. We’ve been preaching it all year, and hopefully it’ll sink in soon.”
The Heartlanders hit the road this past weekend, splitting a pair of games at Fort Wayne. Iowa was shut out on Friday night, 4-0, and won Saturday night, 2-1.
Goalie Trevin Kozlowski was superb, making 48 saves. Fort Wayne outshot Iowa in the game, 49-26.
Iowa has shown definite improvement as its season has progressed. The Heartlanders are 3-3-1 in their last seven games and have a 5-11-3 record for 13 standings points, tied for last in the ECHL with Allen and Worcester, though those last two clubs each have played three fewer games.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Three games in three days on the road is tough. When you lose all three …
That was the fate of the RoughRiders in Muskegon, Mich. The Lumberjacks swept the weekend series, winning Friday night (4-2), Saturday night (5-2) and Sunday afternoon (3-0).
Muskegon had a pair of four-goal periods, scoring a quartet in the third of Saturday night’s game and in the third period Friday night. Geno Pichora got his first game of the season in net Sunday.
Saturday night’s affair saw four fights, which has become very unusual in the United States Hockey League. The RoughRiders lead the league with 505 penalty minutes in 19 games, 13 major penalties and 22 10-minute misconducts.
Cedar Rapids forward Zaccharya Wisdom recently committed to Colorado College. The first-year player from Toronto was the subject of a feature story over a month ago that you can access here.
Five games total for the two clubs, all of them at home.
For the RoughRiders, it’s a Friday night game at ImOn Ice against the Chicago Steel and a Saturday night game at The Stable against Des Moines (7:05 p.m. opening faceoffs). The Steel have the USHL’s most standings points (34) on a 15-4-4 record.
The Heartlanders host Toledo for three games this week: Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights (all 7 p.m.). Iowa has its Teddy Bear Toss promotion Friday night, with fans encouraged to bring a stuffed animal they can throw on the ice after the Heartlanders’ first goal.
They will go to needy children for Christmas. Toledo, by the way, leads the ECHL Central Division with a 12-5 record and 24 standings points.
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