By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
The San Francisco Bulls hockey team of the Pacific Division of the ECHL's Western Conference has ceased operations, the team announced.
The Bulls, who came into the league in 2012, finish the season at 15-20-5 with 32 game dates left vacated on their schedule, including seven with the Bakersfield Condors.
The Condors had home games against the Bulls slated for Feb. 4, 8, 22 and March 22 and road games slated at San Francisco Feb. 20, 21 and March 30. The Condors, and the remainder of ECHL teams that were on the Bulls' schedule, will simply look to fill their open dates with games against other league teams.
"First of all, it's a very unfortunate situation for all those associated with the Bulls, their fans, and the many people that are now out of work," Condors president Matthew Riley said. "Scheduling-wise, it doesn't have as big an effect on us as one might think, due to there being an odd number of teams in our conference, so most of the time, someone was idle.
"We've been able to preserve all of our home dates, and that schedule will likely be released (today). Obviously, the opponents will be different in some instances."
The Bulls were working lately to try to secure new ownership, but the terms of a deal were unable to be finalized.
"We had a great opportunity come to us that would've kept the Bulls in San Francisco at least through the end of the 2014 season, with potential for future seasons, but we ran out of time to complete all ends of the deal," team president and coach Pat Curcio said in a statement on the team's web site. "At this point, the best thing to do financially is to reluctantly end the season. We will miss playing here, miss our fans, and miss this city."