Now that the Vegas Golden Knights have finally made it official with their affiliation with the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards, Vegas Knights of The Roundtable takes a look back at some of the defining moments in their history.
In the 1996-97 season Quad City finished their regular season campaign with an impressive 51-20-3 record at 105 points. Their goal differential was off the charts 384 GF vs. 245 GA at a +139.
The Mallards marched their way thru the Colonial Cup Playoffs tournament by sweeping the Muskegon Fury in 3. Then they followed up in the second round by dispatching the Thunder Bay Thunder Cats in a series that went 6 games.
For Quad City the was the first time in franchise history where they went to the finals by beating the Flint Generals 4 games to 2 and captured their first Colonial Cup.
The defending league champions followed up their 1997-98 season with an impressive 50-18-1 record at 111 points. Their goal differential was outstanding 360 GF vs. 257 GA at a +103. This season was their first campaign in the United Hockey League.
Like their previous playoff performance Quad City defended their 1997 Colonial Cup in the tournament that featured them defeating the Madison Monsters in an opening series that went the distance of 7 games. In the second round they skated past the Muskegon Fury in 6.
For the second straight playoff matchup Quad City faced off against the Flint Generals in the finals where this series ended up going the full term where the Mallards came out on top 4 games to 3. Thus capturing their second championship in organization’s 3rd year of existance.
3 years after becoming back-2-back champions in 1997 and 1998, Quad City would once again return to take their place on the throne in UHL. In the 2000-2001 campaign the Mallards would complete the year in 1st place overall with a 55-12-7.
Their goal differential was once again in the 300+ level at 341 GF vs 216 GA at a +125.
From the previous two times that Quad City won the championship, the 2001 Colonial Cup Playoffs was an easy ride for them. In the opening round the Mallards knocked out the Muskegon Fury in 4 games.
They followed the second round by sweeping the 1st place seed in the Northwest Divison, the Fort Wayne Komets in 3. In the finals the Mallards opponent was the Asheville Smoke. In that series Quad City skated away with their 3rd title in club history by beating Asheville in 5 games.
This would be their last title they won as members of the UHL before moving into another league.
Post UHL Era (No So Great Moments)
In the IHL, CHL, and ECHL however, Quad City has yet to re-capture its championship swagger having been knocked out early and often on more than one occasion. The one season in the IHL during the 2009-10 season Quad City did not qualify for hockey’s second season.
During their 4-year stint (2010-2014) in the CHL their playoffs struggles continued having made the second season 3 of 4 campaigns that league. In those 3 seasons, Quad City bowed out within the 1st two rounds.
The same performace followed them when they moved into the ECHL in the 2014-15 hockey season. Their 1st three seasons the ECHL the Mallards did not make it past round 1 of the Kelly Cup Playoffs.
With the newly formed relationship between the Chicago Wolves and Vegas Golden Knights can the Quad City Mallards once again climb back up the mountain and re-claim their spot as Kings of The Hill we will have to wait and see how things unfold moving forward.