Matt O’Dette will return behind the bench in 2012-13

CONDORSTOWN, Calif. - The Bakersfield Condors announced today that Head Coach Matt O’Dette will return as the team’s head coach and director of hockey operations for the 2012-13 season. It will be O’Dette’s second season as a head coach.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to continue on with this team and follow through with what we have going,” said O’Dette. “The second half has been a good one and I think we’re moving in the right direction. There have been a ton of improvements throughout the year and it’s only going to continue.”
“What is obvious is our record over the last month and a half, which is among the best in the league,” said Condors President Matthew Riley. “You can also see the energy and the enthusiasm this club has displayed most of the season.  Odie has led this club through a good deal of adversity this season and although we’re not going to win the war this season, we’re now winning battles, which bodes very well for the future.”

 

“He’s a hard-working individual who is very dedicated to the team and the community,” said Condors Team Owner Jonathan Fleisig. “We knew this wasn’t a one-year endeavor and we’re pleased he’s returning.” 

After a slow start during the first half of the season, the rookie head coach shuffled his roster and saw the team thrive down the stretch with a 13-7-0-2 record for .636 win percentage since February 8th. They have averaged four goals per game and have had one of the top power plays in the league over the stretch. In their final 14 road games of the season, the team went an impressive 9-4-0-1.

Faced with a truncated off-season when he was hired in mid-July and with only two players under contract by August, O’Dette was forced to build much of his roster after the season started. He proved to have a knack for finding the right players, as the team’s top three leading scorers, and four of the top six, did not begin the season with Bakersfield. Likewise, the top three scorers on the Condors blueline were also not on the roster to start the season.

 

Current captain and rookie LW Peter Boyd was acquired during the first week of the campaign and is third on the team in scoring with 37 points (16g-21a). The team’s top two leading scorers, RW Tyler Helfrich (17g-31a-48pts) and C Robby Dee (23g-22a-45pts), are currently sixth and tenth among ECHL rookies in that department respectively. Another key player on the club down the stretch is highlight-reel sensation F Evan Trupp, who has averaged nearly a point-per-game since being acquired via trade. The Condors had three ECHL Player of the Week winners during the second half of the season, one shy of the Condors record.

O’Dette, 36, has stockpiled young talent during his tenure with the Condors as 14 players on the team’s roster are rookies, including seven of the top nine scorers, and only three players have more than four years experience.

He has shown the ability to advance his players to the next level as well, with four Condors making the jump to the American Hockey League (AHL) during O’Dette’s first season. G Matt Keetley (twice: Syracuse and Houston), C Robby Dee (Abbotsford), F Alex Hudson (Manchester), and G Scott Greenham (Houston) each earned time in the AHL.
Party with the Players on Monday Night
Similar to last season’s All-Star Fan Fest, the Condors invite all season ticket holders to a Party with the Players on Monday, April 2nd from 6-8 p.m. at the Bakersfield Marriott at the Convention Center. Players and coaches will be on hand to play games, sign autographs, and see the great fans of Condorstown one last time before they depart for the summer months. For more information, please contact the front office at 324-PUCK (7825).
It’s Home for Three to Finish the Season

On Wednesday, the team opens up a three-game home stand to finish the season, hosting the Alaska Aces for Blood Drive Night, sponsored by My 45 and KUZZ 107.9. Those who donate blood at Houchin Blood Bank during the month of March can get in to this game for just $1. Doors open at 6 p.m., the puck drops at 7.

On Friday night the Condors host the Utah Grizzlies at 7 p.m. and the first 2,000 fans, 12 and under, will receive a street hockey stick and puck set courtesy of ABC 23, HOT 94.1 FM and the Three Way Automotive Group.
The Condors conclude the regular season on Saturday at 7 p.m. against the Grizzlies as Cartoon Network’s Ben 10 will make an appearance in the Condors photo booth. Also, Bakersfield native and NASCAR driver Ryan Reed will bring his race car before the game and will take pictures with fans during the game. Underprivileged children and military personnel will be given the opportunity to attend the game as part of Big Buddies Night and season ticket holders received complimentary executive level seats to recruit new season ticket holders for next year. Don’t miss out on your last chance to catch the Condors this season presented by Bright House Networks, 101.5 KGFM, and Farmers Insurance.

 

Get Tickets
Individual tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster and the Rabobank Arena box office by calling 1-800-745-3000. Box office hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday with extended hours on gamedays. 

Season ticket renewals are underway, offering fans a chance to purchase $1 sodas the rest of the season with a commemorative season ticket holder cup. The sooner you renew, the more you save! For more info, log on to www.bakersfieldcondors.com.

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