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Mallards fans remain hopeful for hockey to return to QC

MOLINE, Illinois -- When fans heard the news about the Mallards hockey team ceasing operations, there was a mix of sadness, nostalgia, and some confirmation to what some had suspected.

Comments started pooling in on Facebook when the team made the announcement Tuesday morning, March 13th.

"Sad to hear about this news... My heart breaks for everyone," wrote a commenter.

"I love the Mallards. Been going to games since they started..." wrote another.

And also, "So disappointed, but not shocked."

The president of the Quad City Mallards Booster Club, Sally Spahn, said she suspected something was up.

"(I was) a little bit surprised, not horrendously surprised because we haven't heard anything about season tickets... so you kind of wonder what's going on."

Spahn said ever since the Mallards came to the Quad Cities in 1995, there has been a booster club.  Even through ownership changes, name changes, and league changes, there has always been a club in one way or another.

They would attend games together, both home and away, but a main function was to raise money for the team. They held events like trivia nights, dinners and auctions to raise funds.

After hearing the news, the president said the club would likely have to disband. But she said the friendships would remain.

"We're a giant hockey family, we've been through so much together," Spahn said.  "For a lot of us hockey brought us together."

Along with fans, downtown Moline restaurant workers were learning the news. Some restaurants figured the decision wouldn't affect business. Others remember being a hot spot for fans either going to or coming from games.

"(Fans) were always super happy and just very excited that they had somebody to accommodate them so closely to where their game was going to be held," said BierStube manager Jazmine Hunter.

Overall, the hope is that hockey in the QC isn't gone for good.

"Hopefully somebody will step in and save us again, and keep hockey in the QC," said Spahn.

"They'll be back. I know they'll be back," said Hunter.

The TaxSlayer Center's Executive Director said after getting the word, they started working to get hockey back.

For the remainder of the season, Mallards merchandise sold at the TaxSlayer Center will be 50% off.