116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
CORALVILLE — It might take a little time.
The Iowa Heartlanders are used to an extreme amount of player movement. It’s the nature of the ECHL.
But they created their own high volume of player movement last week, making trades to pick up forwards Luke Nogard and Austin McIlmurray and defenseman Connor Russell from Atlanta, Toledo and Greenville, respectively.
The club also signed defenseman Darick-Louis Jean, who has played this season for Trois-Rieveres.
“To improve our team,” Heartlanders Coach Gerry Fleming said, when asked what Iowa was seeking in the trades/player acquisitions. “We wanted somebody like Nogy, who will just engage everybody in the battle. He’s a hard-nosed forward who plays up and down, a simple game. But he’s going to engage guys in the battle. On the back end, we just felt like we needed somebody there who could get the puck to our forwards. Get it in their hands.”
The moves didn’t make immediate dividends, as the Heartlanders lost three times last week to Utah at Xtream Arena. Utah won Wednesday night in overtime, 5-4, then 5-2 Friday and 4-3 Saturday.
The bright side was Iowa outshot its opponent, which leads the ECHL’s Mountain Division, in all three games.
“Most of our core guys have been here,” Fleming said. “We’ve gotten some pieces here in the last couple of days. Those guys have fit in nicely. It’s not that they don’t know how to play a system. We brought some guys in at the back end who can move the puck a little bit. I felt we played well tonight. With the new guys in, it’s a challenge. But we’re kind of used to that.”
The Heartlanders are 17-23-6-1 for 41 standings points, which is eighth and last in the Central Division, one point back of seventh-place Indy. They are 20 points back of first-place Toledo.
Kris Bennett had a goal and assists in Saturday’s game with an eye-popping nine shots on goal. He has 18 goals and 18 assists in 25 games this season, spending quite a bit of time with the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League as well.
The club expects injured forward Yuki Miura back sooner than later, which should add an additional boost. Miura incurred a lacerated liver and other internal injuries in a hard fall into the boards in a January game.
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
The pattern of win one, lose one continued last week for the RoughRiders.
Cedar Rapids had an uplifting 4-3 win this past Friday night against the Chicago Steel at ImOn Ice. The following night was a 3-1 loss to Dubuque.
The RoughRiders trailed Chicago, 3-0, six minutes into the second period before rallying. Josh Karnish and Jake Percival scored goals just 16 seconds apart to make it a 3-2 game.
Karnish scored again to tie it at the 7:14 mark of the third. Cole Burtch then scored on the power play with 3:17 to go to win it.
The RoughRiders outshot the Steel, 43-23. Dubuque scored twice in the third period to break a 1-1 tie and win Saturday.
Conor Lovett had C.R.’s lone goal. The RoughRiders have a 16-19-1-1 record for 34 standings points. That places them seventh in the eight-team Eastern Conference of the USHL.
Three-game weeks for both clubs.
The Heartlanders hoxt the Tulsa Oilers at 7:05 Wednesday night. Tulsa sits in third place in the Mountain Division with 50 standings points on a 24-19-1-1 record.
Iowa hits the road over the weekend for games Friday and Saturday nights at Kalamazoo against the Wings.
The RoughRiders’ three games happen on consecutive nights. Thursday and Friday nights it’s at Green Bay against the Gamblers.
Cedar Rapids hosts rival Waterloo for a Saturday night affair at 7:05. Green Bay is sixth in the USHL’s Eastern Conference with 37 standings points, while Waterloo is fifth in the Western Conference with 39 standings points.
Comments: (319)-398-8258, email@example.com