Jones Returns to Lead Heartlanders Past Wings
CORALVILLE, IA – Hunter Jones made his return to the Iowa Heartlanders a good one, stopping 29 shots as the team beat the Kalamazoo Wings, 5-2. Iowa used a three goal second period to take command of this contest. Five different players scored one goal for the team and Tommy Parran, Tyler Busch, and Ryan Wheeler each had two points. The victory moved the Heartlanders to 3-1-1 in their last five.
Kalamazoo took the lead 5:28 into the contest. Kurt Gosselin scooped up the puck along the boards, lifting a wrist shot from near the blueline over the shoulder of Jones for his fourth goal of the year.
Just after the eight-minute mark, Busch tied the score at one with his 10th goal of the year. With the Heartlanders on the power-play, Zach White shot the puck around the boards from behind the net up to the blueline to Kevin McKernan. He lifted a wrist shot that Busch redirected just underneath Kalamazoo netminder Hunter Vorva to tie the score at one.
The game was tied at one through the first intermission, but Iowa took command of this game in the second period, scoring three goals. The first came when Michael Pastujov scored his seventh goal of the year, 1:42 into the frame. Busch fed the puck to Pastujov in the neutral zone, who came across the blueline looking to try to make a pass. He slowed down, looking for an option, then decided to shoot, sneaking a wrist shot through the legs of Vorva to put Iowa on top.
Just 31 seconds later, White extended the lead to two. Wheeler took a shot from the boards that deflected into the air before dropping just outside the crease. That is where White knocked it in for his 11th goal of the year.
Two minutes later, the Wings cut the deficit to one when Luke Morgan scored his fifth goal of the season. Gosselin won a race for loose puck in the corner, digging out before firing a perfect shot across the slot to Morgan who buried the one-timer.
Kalamazoo was back in the contest, but James Sanchez restored the two-goal Iowa advantage at 16:35. McKernan took a shot from the point that Vorva saved, but the rebound came right to Sanchez who stuffed it in for his ninth goal of the year.
With 1:37 left in the contest, Tanner MacMaster scored an empty net goal to close out the scoring. It was his third goal of the year.
Jones moved to 5-12-8 while lowering his goals-against average to 3.11.
The Iowa Heartlanders will battle the Kalamazoo wings on Saturday. The puck drops at 7:05.