Richmond RiverDogs

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Richmond RiverDogs
RiverDogs logo
Founded 2003
Folded 2006
Home ice Richmond Coliseum
Based in Richmond, Virginia
Colors Dark Red, Blue, White, Silver
League United Hockey League

The Richmond RiverDogs were a professional minor league ice hockey franchise based in Richmond, Virginia. They played at the Richmond Coliseum.

The RiverDogs were formed during an expansion of the United Hockey League in the fall of 2003, replacing the ECHL Richmond Renegades, which folded in April 2003.

In their first year of play in the United Hockey League, the RiverDogs won the Eastern Division in the regular season and made the playoffs only to lose in the first round to the Elmira Jackals.

In the January 31, 2006 sports section of the Richmond Times-Dispatch, team President Jay Acton was quoted as saying "The fans aren't paying my bills." This was very upsetting to a number of fans that pay for tickets to every game or are season ticket holders. Acton was also quoted as saying "We're losing $500,000, and I don't see any more business coming in the building. I don't see any more fans coming into the building."

In UHL attendance, Richmond was generally in the top 3. However, the transfer of coach–general manager Robbie Nichols to the UHL expansion Chicago Hounds in February 2006 started speculation that the RiverDogs franchise would be transferred to become the Hounds for the 2006–07 season, which indeed proved to be the case. Nichols left the Chicago franchise in April 2006 to become general manager of the UHL Elmira Jackals and the First Arena in Elmira, New York. Late in the 2006–07 season, the Hounds were sold to Craig Drecktrah, owner of the Rockford IceHogs. Drecktrah folded the Hounds after one season due to problems securing a lease with the Sears Centre in suburban Chicago.

In April 2006, the Richmond Coliseum's management announced that the RiverDogs had missed several deadlines to renew their lease for 2006-07, thus folding the franchise. The RiverDogs were replaced at the Richmond Coliseum by the second incarnation of the Richmond Renegades, which began play in the Southern Professional Hockey League in October 2006. Former RiverDog Brian Goudie was named player–assistant coach of the SPHL Renegades in 2006-07, and head coach of the Renegades in 2007-08.

Some of their most popular players included David Brosseau, J. J. Wrobel, Brian Goudie, David Hymovitz, Luch Nasato, Kevin St. Jacques, and Maxime Gingras.

Some of the known fighters in the RiverDogs' short history included Trevor Senn, Brad Both, Dave Shields, Matt Goody, and their last head coach, Kris Waltze. "Raz" the RiverDogs mascot was played first by Tim Gearles, and in later seasons by Derrick Hanks and Jamie Hogan.

Richmond Pro Hockey History[edit]

In addition to the ice hockey franchises, the Virginia Vultures of Major League Roller Hockey played in Richmond in the summer of 1998. The Richmond/Midlothian Rollin' Robins currently play in the Professional Inline Hockey Association.

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