DETAILS
 
Names Cincinnati Mighty Ducks
  Cincinnati RailRaiders (2005-06)
Operated 1997-2006
League American Hockey League
Home Arena Cincinnati Gardens
Championships None
 
STATISTICS
 
SEASON LEAGUE GP W L T OTL SOL PTS PCT RANK
                     
1996-97 AHL
No team
1997-98 AHL 80 23 37 13 7 0 66 .413  4
1998-99 AHL 80 35 39 4 2 0 76 .456 5
1999-00 AHL 80 30 37 9 4 0 73 .456 5
2000-01 AHL 80 41 26 9 4 0 95 .594 2
2001-02 AHL 80 33 33 11 3 0 80 .500 3
2002-03 AHL 80 26 35 13 6 0 71 .444 3
2003-04 AHL 80 29 37 13 1 0 72 .450 5
2004-05 AHL 80 44 31 0 1 4 93 .581 3
2005-06 AHL
Did not play
 
 
   
 
 
1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06  
 
 
1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06  
 
 
1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02
2002-03 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06  
 
 
 
 
 
When the Cincinnati Cyclones (of the International Hockey League) relocated from the Cincinnati Gardens to Riverfront Coliseum in 1997, Pete Robinson, who owned the Gardens, bought the AHL's Baltimore Bandits and relocated the franchise to the Queen City. This would be the first American Hockey League team to play in Cincinnati since the Swords left in 1974.

Despite the direct competition with the Cyclones, the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks fast became the team Cincinnati hockey fans grew to love. The Ducks not only were the direct farm team to Anaheim, but they were also the direct farm team to the Detroit Red Wings from 1998 to 2002.

The Ducks loyal fan base developed because of many popular players such as left wing Maxim Balmochnykh, right wing Frank Banham, goat tender Ilya Bryzgalov, center Marc Chouinard, defenseman Mark Popovich, defenseman Peter Podhradsky, left wing Bob Wren and many more. Wren holds the record for most games played with the Ducks. He played in a total of 277 games during his 4 year stint in Cincinnati.

Between the Red Wings and the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, Cincinnati saw 51 players who went on to the NHL. Such as goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere, defenseman Niclas Havelid, center Jason Krog, left wing Mike Leclerc, center Joffrey Lupul, center Andy McDonald and many more.

Along with many players making the jump to the NHL, Ducks head coach Mike Babcock did as well. Babcock coached the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks for two seasons. He led the Ducks to their first winning season during the 2000/01 season. And because of his great work with the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks, the parent club hired Babcock to head coach the NHL Mighty Ducks for the 2002/03 season. The rookie head coach proceeded to lead the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim to their first Western Conference Championship, putting the team within ONE game of a Stanley Cup Championship. The Ducks lost the championship to the New Jersey Devils in seven games.

For the AHL Mighty Ducks first year in Cincinnati [1997/98], the club was headed by Moe Mantha Junior who's father was a defenseman for the legendary Cincinnati Mohawks in the 1950's of the International Hockey League. Mantha Junior's first Ducks club finished dead last in their division, with a record of 23-37-13-7. The club ended the season with a dismal 66 points.

The Ducks rebounded so-to-speak for the 1998/99 season and earned a play-off berth despite finishing last within the Mid Atlantic Division. However, the club proved just how much they lacked the stuff to be in the play-offs and were swept by the Philadelphia Phantoms in the first round.

In Moe Mantha's third and final year as Ducks bench boss, he led the club to yet again another last place finish within their respective division. Finishing the 1999/00 season with a record of 30-37-9-4. The Ducks posted 73 points in the standings.

Mantha would be replaced for the 2000/01 season by former Spokane Chiefs head coach Mike Babcock of the WHL. In his first season in Cincinnati, Babcock led the Ducks to a 41-26-9-4 record. With 95 points in the standings. His club finished second in the South Division. The Ducks were set to play the Norfolk Admirals in the play-offs and earned home ice advantage. But due to a curfew implemented on Cincinnati shortly after the infamous Cincinnati racial riots, the Ducks were forced to play their home games on the road. Giving the advantage to Norfolk. The Admirals took the Ducks 3 games to 1.

Mike Babcock's final year as Ducks head coach saw his club barely miss the play-offs. The club finished the season a couple points shy of the Rochester Americans for a play-off spot which put the club in a Qualifying Round against the Chicago Wolves. Unfortunately the Mighty Ducks lost.

After Mike Babcock was promoted to the NHL Ducks, his replacement for the 2002/03 season was former Detroit Vipers head coach Brad Shaw. In his first year with the Ducks, his club finished with a 26-35-13-6 record. Tallying up 71 points in the standings. His club finished third in the Central Division and did not qualify for the play-offs.

For the 2003/04 season, Cincinnati finished the season with a record of 29-37-13-1, with 72 points in the standings. The club finished in fifth place within the West Division, sending the team into a Qualifying Round against the Houston Aeros. Cincinnati swept the series and went on to face the Milwaukee Admirals in the first round of the play-offs. The Mighty Ducks took the Admirals to 7 games, but lost in the final game with a score of 5-1. The Admirals went on to win the Calder Cup.

Head coach Brad Shaw returned for the 2004-05 AHL hockey season. The season turned out to be the last year for the Mighty Ducks in Cincinnati. The parent club would shift their affiliation to Portland Maine for the next hockey season. However, on the ice, the Ducks would go out with a bang and ice one of their best team in their eight years history. The was easily the best brand of hockey Cincinnati had ever seen. The entire NHL season was wiped out leaving the AHL as the top league in the world.

The final Mighty Ducks club finished the season in a tight race with Grand Rapids and Houston for the final play-off spot in the AHL. At one point all three clubs were locked up with the same points in the standings. But Cincinnati went on to win 8 of their final 10 games which put the club in third place within the division and a record of 44-31-1-4. The club finished with 93 points in the standings.

Cincinnati went on to play the Milwaukee Admirals in the first round of the play-offs. The defending Calder Cup Champion Admirals proceeded to lead the series 3 games to 1. But the Mighty Ducks, with their backs against the wall, came back and won 4 straight. Sending them to the second round of the play-offs for the first time. The Ducks were the 13th team in AHL history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win a best-of-7 series. Their Game 7 victory was the first by any road team in the series.

Cincinnati went on to face the Chicago Wolves in the Western Conference Division Finals, only to lose 4 games to 1. The franchise played their final game as the Cincinnati Mighty Ducks on May 13th 2005, ended an eight year run.

Club owners attempted to reactivate the franchise for the 2006-07 hockey season as the Cincinnati RailRaiders, but failed to sell 2,000 season tickets which was necessary to do so.  The ownership only reached about 80% of their goal and the RailRaiders never hit the ice. The franchise was eventually sold to a group in Rockford Illinois named Centre Events for 3.15 million dollars. The new ownership group would then relocate the franchise to Rockford Illinois where it was renamed the IceHogs.
 
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