ECHL: Iowa Heartlanders Mid-February Catchup

Coralville, Iowa- While the Heartlanders went a frustrating 1-6 and earned just three points in their seven-game homestand, there was a ton of news surrounding the team that goes beyond what happens on the ice. There is lots of Heartlanders news to catch up on.

Ten Points out of Playoff Picture With 22 Games Left

As the season reaches game 50 out of 22, the Heartlanders look towards making a run at the Central Division’s 4th playoff spot. As the standings (below) show,

Iowa is ten points behind Kalamazoo for that playoff spot but also trails behind Cincinnati and Fort Wayne for that final playoff spot, while an exciting race for first between the top three teams goes down the stretch.

Boudon or Budgell to end season in AHL?

The AHL’s Iowa Wild have been calling up Heartlanders all season, but as Iowa’s two remaining top scorers (Koch has moved to Germany, Cajkovic traded to Wheeling by Parent Clubs, Campoli out for the season) have been standouts on the struggling Heartlanders, leading the team with a combined 51 points. With recent call-ups, Including Boudon’s call-up on the 15th (and return on the 21st) and Budgell’s February 23rd call-up, fans are asking if and when Des Moines will call up Heartlander stars and keep them for the rest of the season.

Kelly Cup to visit Xtream Arena on March 16

As the ECHL commences the 2024 Kelly Cup tour across the Midwest, Iowa gets to see the Kelly Cup for the first time.

On Saturday, March 16th, Iowa’s St. Patrick’s Day game, The Kelly Cup, will be available for fans to see and take pictures with throughout the game.

100th Home Game Upcoming

On March 22nd, Iowa will host their 100th home game and have a special celebration for the occasion, featuring highlights from home games across the three seasons. You can order your commemorative T-Shirt below:

New Partners, New Leases?

On February 23rd, Iowa announced a new medical partner, University of Iowa Sports Medicine. This helps the team combine their efforts to connect with the university to increase connection with the community.

For Iowa’s February 21st home game, the University of Iowa Drumline performed throughout the game, including a first intermission performance on the ice.

“It reminds me of when I played in college,” Forward Jake Durflinger told Inside the Rink. This effort would not only help connect with the university, this was an exciting experiment that the fans undoubtedly responded positively to.

Another piece of news that was hinted at by the Cedar Rapids Gazette on February 20th, the Heartlanders are looking to extend their lease with Xtream Arena. According to the Gazette, year 3 of the team’s 8-year lease has seen an increase in attendance that has excited both parties. The goal of this renegotiation would see the Heartlanders stay in Iowa for longer than the originally planned eight years, with the current number of years in the new lease not yet announced.

Iowa’s next game will take place on Friday, February 23rd, at Cincinnati with a 6:35 Central start time. The next home game will take place on Wednesday, March 13, against Wheeling. Hopefully, for Landers fans, the final month will be one where Iowa cuts points on the difference behind Cincinnati, Fort Wayne, and Kalamazoo as Iowa looks to earn the Central’s 4th playoff spot.

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