After a season that almost didn't get off the ground to begin with, Wednesday, the Quad City Mallards returned home for some postseason play.
For the flock's faithful, it's been a roller coaster of a year.
“They went a lot farther than anybody thought they were going to," said fan Cody VanDusen.
Back in October, ownership problems plagued the team. Training camp was delayed, the season opener was cancelled, and the league finally swooped in at the last minute to run the Mallards. It marked the first time the CHL had taken over one of its clubs, and a rocky start to the season that fans remember well.
“I think it's been a very good season. I think they started off kind of rough, and they made a good turnaround and got themselves in the playoffs… got the opportunity and that’s all they need," said Mark Sade.
Since then, the Central Hockey League has guaranteed it will run the Mallards next season.
“It’s really big. For example, my son plays hockey, and it’s a great motivation. He's grown up with the Mallards being here. Every year they say the same thing, they may or may not come back, but I just hope it stays," said Sade.
In just a few short months, the Mallards have gone from a season that almost wasn't, to what fans say is a future worth cheering about.
“I think Coach has put it together real well. We were a little shaky in the beginning, but we’re definitely there now," said Zach Francis.