BY MIKE GRIFFITH Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
A few minutes after the Condors finished their season with a 5-1 loss to San Francisco on Saturday night, Condors coach Matt O'Dette told them he would not be returning next season.
It was not his decision.
"To be honest, I let them know I'm not coming back next year," he replied when asked what he told his team after a tough game and tough season. "I'm not being renewed. I knew a few days ago. We wanted to finish strong, finish as pros and play right until the end.
"I faked it all week and didn't tell anybody. There's no point in hiding it now. That's what I told the guys. It was emotional. It was a tough speech to give the guys. That's that. It's disappointing."
O'Dette said he was told by Condors President Matthew Riley on Monday.
"You try to keep it under you hat and hope the players don't get wind of it because you want them to play hard for you until the end," O'Dette said.
Saturday night's game at Rabobank Arena brought a conclusion to a second straight sub-par season.
The Condors finished the season with a 24-41-7 record, by far the worst in the ECHL. And worse than last season when the Condors went 24-41-7.
The final game was a microcosm of the season, even if only three of the 18 players on Saturday night were in the lineup when the season started back on Oct. 12 in San Francisco.
Bakersfield leads the league in goal difference in the second period, having been outscored 90-55 during that period heading into Saturday's game.
So the Bulls, the third-worst team in the league and second worst in second period goal difference at minus 28, broke open a close game with three goals in the first six minutes of the second period.
Mark Isherwood put the Bulls up 2-1 just 27 seconds into the second; Daulton Levellie make it 3-1 at 4:40 and Mikeal Tam's second of the night at 5:44 made it 4-1.
A promising start on Saturday night -- rookie Scott Macaulay staked the Condors to a 1-0 lead midway thorough the first with his first pro goal -- ended in disappointment,
Much like the season, which started with a 5-4 win in San Francisco back on Oct, 12.