The Wagon Wheel Cardinals were part of the IIHL (Illinois Ice Hockey League), a senior amateur league that was active from the late 50s through the 70s. The majority of the league hailed from Chicago, but the Cardinals played in Rockton, near the Wisconsin-Illinois state line. They were based out of the Wagon Wheel Resort, a popular vacation spot during this time that also featuring two ice rinks among its many amenities. The Cardinals would win the league title in 1958-59, their first season and take the regular season title in their first four seasons. The Cardinals would continue to have success and winning records until the team was disbanded in 1971.