By Brian Compton
NHL.com Staff Writer
For coach Malcolm Cameron and the Texas Wildcatters, this wasn’t how it was supposed to end.
A season that began with so much promise, a season that started with championship aspirations and hope that the politicians in the city of Beaumont would come to the realization that their home is indeed a viable hockey market, came to a crashing halt when the 115-point Wildcatters lost in the second round of the Kelly Cup Playoffs to the Columbia Inferno.
Hit hard by injuries – Texas played without its top three centers in Round 2 – and call-ups to the American Hockey League, the Wildcatters saw their season end prematurely when they lost the decisive Game 5 to the Inferno, 4-1, at what is now a vacated Ford Arena.
After the loss in Game 5, the Wildcatters saw their season and their existence in Texas come to a close. The team is moving to Ontario, Calif. (where it will be renamed the Reign), after Jefferson County officials opted to terminate the Wildcatters’ lease. The franchise tried to negotiate to keep the team in Beaumont, but instead Ford Arena has lost its primary tenant.
“It was a tough season,” an extremely-candid Cameron told NHL.com this week. “There’s a lot of things that went on here that we didn’t let affect the players. For me personally, it was a real hard season. It wore me down a little bit with all the distractions that go on with the uncertainty of a franchise. But I’m proud of the fact that me and my staff kept a lot of things under wraps.”