S.F. Examiner File photoIn the midst of their second season

San Francisco Bulls officially shut down

After fewer than two years of operation, the San Francisco Bulls officially announced Monday that the franchise is shutting down midway through the ECHL season.

Word first came out last week that the Bulls were in trouble and seeking new ownership that would move the team to Oakland or Fresno, but a deal did not materialize in time to save the organization.

“We want to thank all of our fans for your support and loyalty over the last two seasons,” Bulls president and coach Pat Curcio said in a statement. “It's been such a memorable time here with you in San Francisco, and we've especially appreciated all of your positive feedback over the past week.”

The Bulls were 15-20-5 with 32 games remaining in the season.

The Bulls, the ECHL affiliate of the Sharks, played their first game at the Cow Palace in October 2012. The Bulls' Jan. 19 3-2 shootout victory against the Stockton Thunder will go down as the final game in franchise history.

“Bringing hockey to San Francisco was a dream; we have great talent on our team, and had a great vision for what the team could be,” Curcio said. “Things didn't pan out the way we had hoped. It's sad, and disconcerting, but we're unfortunately left with no other choice at this point.”

Cow PalaceECHLHockeySan Francisco Bulls

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