Former Bakersfield Condors player Andrew Carroll, who helped lead the team on a deep playoff run during its time in the ECHL, died after taking a fall recently at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport.
Carroll, 32, played for the Condors during the 2013-14 season. He scored 16 points — eight goals and eight assists — in 50 regular season games while adding 118 penalty minutes to his season stat line. He then totaled eight points in 16 playoff games as Bakersfield advanced to the ECHL’s Western Conference Finals.
Carroll’s family issued a statement on Monday, saying “We are deeply saddened to share the loss of Andrew, an amazing brother, son, uncle, nephew, cousin, teammate, mentor and friend who died tragically after a fall at the Chicago O’Hare Airport. We are deeply grieving but have the assurance that he is in the loving arms of Jesus.”
The family would add, “At this difficult time, what gives us comfort is that his life meant so much to so many people and he was able to give the gift of hope by donating his heart and organs so that others might have life.”
It was not immediately clear what day Carroll died.
Carroll was a four-time University of Minnesota Duluth hockey letterman and a multi year team captain at the school. The hockey program announced that it will sport a special AC decal on its helmets in honor of its former captain.
“Andrew was a driven student-athlete, loyal teammate, and selfless leader,” the UMD hockey staff said in a news release. “He exemplified Bulldog Hockey in every way, and it is clear how much he meant to this program by the outpouring of emotion we have received from his teammates and other alumni since we heard of the accident.”
Carroll played seven years of professional hockey and just one with the Condors, although he made an impact during his time in Bakersfield.
After the Condors lost their first 12 games of the 2013-14 season, they acquired Carroll in a trade and he helped lead a turnaround. The team would make their deepest postseason run during their time in the ECHL. Carroll was part of the heroics, scoring a game-winning goal in the team’s opening-round series against Utah.
Ryan Holt, public relations director for the Condors, said Carroll did things in a unique way. Holt recalled Carroll would run to the rink every day from his southwest-Bakersfield home — about 10 miles away, Holt said. He added that Carroll had a penchant for taking a pre-practice shower before barely beating the first practice whistle to hit the ice.
“Last one on the bus, hair always wet,” Holt recalled with a laugh.
“Scrappy guy, penalty killer. Not flashy, definitely out-worked his skill. He was well-liked in the room, well-liked by the guys. Definitely a guy you remember, that’s for sure.”