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|City:||Guildford, United Kingdom|
|Head Coach:||Paul Dixon|
Founded in October 1992, the team played for many years in the British National League. Following its dissolution at the end of the 2004/5 season, they have transferred to the English Premier Ice Hockey League for the 2005/2006 season and clinched the league title in February 2006 after defeating reigning champions Milton Keynes Lightning on their own ice. The team's Head Coach is Paul Dixon who took over as the teams Head Coach after Stan Marple retired at end of the 06/07 Season. Paul Dixon played hockey at the now defunct Durham Wasps and Newcastle, before moving south to Guildford in 1999. Notable current Guildford players include Lukas Smital, a World Junior Championship player with Team Czech Republic in 1994. Canadian stars David Oliver and Jamie Mclennan were both signed to Guildford during the 04/05 NHL lockout.
The team was initially owned by Barry Dow, an American who already owned the Basketball team Guildford Kings, he owned the team along with Bill Hurley and the two were both new to the sport of ice hockey. The owners brought in Mike Urquhart as Coach and Darrin Zinger as captain.
Key players signed for the first season included Canadians Sean Murphy and Dave McGahan who had been transferred due to their high scoring at Solent Vikings. In addition a number of British players including Goaltender Mike Kellond, Forward Danny O'Hanlon and Defender Gary Shearer.
When the 23rd of January 1993 finally arrived and the Guildford Spectrum opened, the event was a big one. Local newspaper the Surrey Advertiser described the local council's £28million arena as "Awesome". Guildford's first game at their new home showing a convincing win with Andy Sparks scoring the first goal at the Spectrum. The team went to the top of the Conference due to that game, a position they were in for the whole season.
Unfortunately in their first season many of the defence men and Goaltender Kellond ran into injury problems, these were poorly timed occurring just before the start of the play-offs; however despite this Guildford still managed to gain a promotion for the following season.
The team was very popular in their first season, with the average attendance being over 2000 (capacity was 2200); and because of this positive reaction the team attracted local insurance company Cornhill Insurance as a sponsor along with Pepsi Cola as the shirt sponsor; the latter prompting a temporary name change to the Pepsi Guildford Flames between February and November 1993.
Season by season reviewEdit
In their second season in the higher league was a lot tougher for the team. By march of the 1993/94 season the true impact of the club's financial problems was revealed, with players threatening to strike over unpaid wages; eventually a deal was completed allowing the club to complete its season fixtures. The team finished mid table, missing out on both promotion and relegation.
The 1994/95 season saw the club being taken over by new owners SportFact Ltd. led by banker John Hepburn Hepburn's sons were all in the Flames junior set-up and he befriended Flames stars Paul Thompson and Ryan Campbell; they installed Ron Charbonneau as general manager and assigned him the task of taking the club to the Premier within three seasons. The club's roster was changed radically leaving only five players from the previous season.
Among highpoints of the third season was a draw with the Cardiff Devils at the time the most successful club in British Ice Hockey; however the club was alleged to have broken wage-capping rules, Flames subsequently won their case against this but the negative reputation of being a "Rich Club" has never been shifted.
The fourth season saw the team go from strength to strength, Guildford appointed Ivan Brown (former Winnipeg Jets coach) as a new non-player coach. Flames' finished one place higher than in the previous season and made their first appearance in the Promotion playoffs. Finishing third in a playoff group so close that three more goals would have put them in first place.
The 1996/97 season was a major change in British Ice Hockey with the launch of the ISL. The Flames had advised setting up the new top league and then controversially at the time, didn't play in it; instead they played in the second tier British National League. Unfortunately the season that began with optimism turned out not to be as successful with the Flames securing only third place after the play-offs.
The 1997/98 season after three seasons of failing to live up to their potential Flames’ were half way through their 5-year plan and crunch time was approaching. For the second season in a row the management trekked up the M4 in search of a coach, this time welcoming Stan Marple, fresh from his all conquering season with the Swindon IceLords.
With major changes in the team winning became common place for the team, not only successful in the national league, they also showed the ISL - BNL gap was one that could be bridged with Challenge game wins over Basingstoke Bison and Nottingham Panthers; being the first ever defeats of Superleague teams from a British team not in the league.
The season also represented the Flames firsttestimonial match with Darrin Zinger retiring from the club in a full time role.
The 1998/99 season was rocked by injury and various players leaving the club. The teams grip on the British National League slipped every game with more and more points being dropped. One of the reasons that the team was suffering so badly was the injury of Goaltender Jamey Organ which occurred during a Christmas Cup clash with Peterborough Pirates.
The 1999/00 season represented high spending for the club, but not much in the way of results; the team signed Team GB captain Ian Cooper from ISL side London Knights. This season had a number of milestones Pete Kasowski and Derek DeCosty scored their 100th goals; Stan Marple coached his 100th game.
The 2000/01 season had a change of uniform and colours for the team. The team claimed the Baker Tilly Shield beating the superleague's Bracknell Bees; and the team went on to compete in the last ever Benson & Hedges Plate final where they lost out to the Basingstoke Bison. The team went on the win the ntl: Cup beating Fife Flyers in the two leg final. The Flames were victorious in their home arena in front of a capacity crowd of screaming Bison and Flames fans in this finale to the British National League, which could not have been better scripted; Guildford won the game and the league. At the end of this season (Mr Guildford)Ryan Campbell retired from the game and his #10 shirt was retired and hoisted to the rafters. During this season, former player and Junior coach Fred Perlini had his number 11 shirt retired.
The Flames began the 2001/2002 season like the previous season, with back-to-back games against the Bracknell Bees; unfortunately it was the Berkshire side that won the two-leg series 8-3 on aggregate to take the Baker Tilly Shield back to Amen's Corner.
The 2002-2003 season saw the Flames finish in 3rd spot with 22 wins and 14 losses. The Flames finish was good enough for a playoff qualification, however, and they were pitted in Group B along with the explosive Dundee Stars, the Edinburgh Capitals and Fife Flyers. A solid Flames showing, losing just 2 of 6 playoff contests, launched them into the 2 leg playoff semi finals. Unfortunately, their second place playoff seeding put them up against the league champion Coventry Blaze, and 120 minutes of semi final hockey saw the Flames lose a 9-3 aggregate score
The 2003/04 season represented a change in the recruiting process; rather than a club with lots of North American players, Stan Marple brought in more British and Slovakian players. The team won the British National League play-offs.
Flames competed in the BNL. They lost to Dundee Stars in the play-off final. During this season, Flames made 2 big signings while the NHL was locked out. David Oliver the Dallas Stars forward signed and then Florida Panthers goalie Jamie McLennan also signed up.
The 2005/06 season saw the Surrey based side win most of their games, with a twenty game winning streak in the first two months of the season, before finally being defeated by Swindon Wildcats away from home in their first meeting of the year. They went on to clinch the EPL Championship when they defeated the Milton Keynes Lightning on Saturday 11 February 2006 at the Planet Ice Arena.
The 2006/07 season saw the Surrey based club crowned EPL Cup winners after they defeated the Milton Keynes Lightning 7-5 on aggregate. The first leg was held at the Guildford Spectrum on Wednesday 28 February 2007 in front of 1,232 spectators and the Flames won the game 3-2. The second leg was played on Thursday 8 March 2007 and the Flames won another close encounter 3-4 in front of 1,026 spectators at the Planet Ice Arena to secure the win and Premier Cup bragging rights for 2006-2007. The Play-offs in Coventry brought no riches, after their Preimer Cup Succees. After Rick Plant's Overtime winner against Sheffield sealed a place in the final, against local rivals Bracknell Bees, the Flames could not clinch the play-off title crashing out 3-2 on melting ice. This also marks the year of retirement of long time Flames coach Stanislaus (Stan) Marple in 10 years, he played 194 Games, scoring 15 Goals, assisting on 32, gaining 638 Pim's, coaching 614 games for Guildford and winning 396 of them, the Flames won ten Titles under his reign. On 4 March 2007 his number 3 was hoised into the rafters never to be worn again.
Paul Dixon opened his coaching account with a win as the Guildford Flames handed the visiting Romford Raiders a 9-2 defeat in the opening game of the English Premier League. After that things started to nose dive as the flames failed to qualify for the knockout stage of the English Premier Cup. Often up until late October with half the squad out due to injury the flames struggled, and by mid-November had a 6-2-4 record. But with the signing of a fifth import, Canadian Taras Foremsky, from the Peterborough Phantoms, the Flames rallied going unbeaten for over a month, winning 11 games, placing them top of the English Premier League. Over the New Year period, Guildford won a thrilling 4-3 home tie against Slough in front of 1921 fans at the Spectrum; and then delivered an impressive 4-0 win over visiting Bracknell, just their 3rd shutout of the season. The Flames continued this good run of form, with the exception of a patch in mid January, leaving them top of the table, in a pivotal weekend (16/17th of Feb.) the Flames beat 3rd placed Milton Keynes 5-1 and 2nd placed Slough Jets 6-2 leaving them top of the table by 4 points with 6 games remaining. The Flames reached the Knockout cup semi-final, but gave a poor display, losing 11-6 on aggregate to Milton Keynes. Heading into the second to last weekend, they knew that 2 wins from 4 remaining games would hand them the title. 1769 fans weren't disappointed as they enjoyed a 7-3 win in a very ill-tempered game with Romford. Josef Kohut had a hat-trick of goals and an assist earning him Man of the Match. On Sunday the Flames travelled to Telford and came away with a 6-1 win, crowning them EPL League Champions with one weekend to spare. The last weekend of the regular season saw the Flames thrash Swindon 7-2 and beat MK Lightning 5-3. It was their 11th consecutive league game win. The Flames opened the playoffs with a convincing 8-3 win at the Spectrum but then lost the following day 5-3 in Sheffield. The following weekend, the Flames got their 4th shutout of the season, winning 3-0 against Romford. The second of the 2 back-to-back games in Romford was postponed until Thursday 3 April, however, this didn't affect the players as they won 8-3 in a match with 181 penalty minutes. The Flames needed just 1 point to clinch a place in the finals. A perfect final weekend consisting of a 6-4 away win at Peterborough followed by a match which attracted the largest crowd of the season for the Flames (and therefore the league) with 2,022 witnessing the 4-3 win over visiting Sheffield. Despite these wins, Guildford finished 2nd in group A, behind Sheffield on the tie-break rule. The Flames lost to Slough 4-3 in the playoff finals.
After an indifferent start to the season with 3 wins and 3 losses, it was announced on the 9th October that the Flames would travel to Slovakia and take part in an exhibition against Extraliga side Poprad in a game opened by the Queen during her state visit to the country. Guildford struggled to find form up to the Christmas period where they remained top of the league, 2 points ahead of Peterborough. However, every other team in the league was playing catch-up (Peterborough with 4 games in hand). By late January the inevitable had taken place with too many dropped points resulting in Peterborough moving up to lead the table, and still with 4 games in hand. A mixed January included the loss of veteran defenseman Mark Williams, who returned to Romford, but culminated in a convincing 8-2 win in front of 2,124 fans was a fitting result to end a game in which Jozef Kohut returned with the Swindon Wildcats. Poor results in February saw Guildford lose too much ground on Peterborough and Milton Keynes. It was obvious that back-to-back titles would not be enjoyed.
It was all change during the off-season with many players moving on. Many high-profile replacements were announced, including Gary Clarke and Nathan Rempel, and culminated in the signing of Martin Masa from Grenoble. Masa and Smital had been team-mates in 3 previous teams.
- Season 2007/08
- English Premier League Champions
- Season 2006/07
- English Premier Cup
- Season 2005/06
- English Premier League Champions
- Season 2003/04
- British National League Play-off Champions
- Season 2000/01
- Season 1998/99
- Benson & Hedges Plate Winners
- Season 1997/98
- Season 1996/97
- Benson & Hedges Plate Winners
Team Logo and JerseyEdit
The team logo is very similar to that of the Calgary Flames of the NHL. The team jersey's are also basically the those used by the NHL Atlanta Thrashers from 1999 to 2006. This is an ironic pairing since the Calgary Flames were originally the Atlanta Flames. The Flames' inaugural season began in October 1992; they began in the English League Division One, which at the time was the starting place for all new names. With the Guildford Spectrum not yet completed, the team had to train at Slough with kind permission of Gary Stefan. The Flames played their "home" games at Alexandra Palace until their new home ice was ready and played their for the first time on 23rd of January 1993.
Team Roster 2009/10 (As of 07/09/09)Edit
- Head Coach BritishPaul Dixon
- Assistant/Equipment Manager BritishDave Wiggins
- Assistant Coach/Bench Coach Slovak Milos Melicherik
- 8 British Rob Lamey
- 14 BritishStuart Potts
- 16 Canadian Nathan Rempel
- 17 British Ricky Plant
- 19 BritishTom Duggan
- 21 Slovak Milos Melicherik
- 23 British Gary Clarke
- 25 Czech Vaclav Zavoral
- 28 Czech Martin Masa
- 32 Czech Lukas Smital
- 4 British Neil Liddiard
- 6 BritishDavid Savage
- 22 BritishPaul Dixon
- 37 BritishBen Austin
- 82 BritishJez Lundin
All-Time Scorers ListEdit
Correct up to End of 2008/09 Season. This is the All-time top 20 Point scorers list for the Guildford Flames:
Note: GP = Games played; G = Goals; A = Assists; Pts = Points; PIM = Penalty Minutes; # =Active Flames Player
|Ryan Campbell Canadian||1993-2001||474||373||543||916||397|
|Milos Melicherik Slovak #||2003-||363||163||358||521||506|
|Ricky Plant British #||1997-1998, 1999-2004, 2005-||576||201||310||511||551|
|Derek DeCosty American||1996-1997 & 1998-2003||338||262||209||471||255|
|Fred Perlini Canadian||1994-1997||167||256||182||438||164|
|Paul Thompson Canadian||1993-1999||356||163||247||410||851|
|Paul Dixon British #||1999-||560||77||310||387||336|
|Terry Kurtenbach Canadian||1994-1999||307||128||253||381||272|
|Rob Friesen Canadian||1993-1995||108||162||185||347||66|
|Jozef Kohut Slovak||2003-2008||245||188||155||343||675|
|Barcley Pearce Canadian||1997-2001||180||148||184||332||200|
|Rob Lamey British #||1996-2002 & 2006-||454||129||175||304||243|
|Peter Kasowski Canadian||1997-2000||177||126||154||280||120|
|Sean Murphy Canadian||1992-1993||40||117||163||280||46|
|Dave McGahan Canadian||1992-1993||40||138||124||262||86|
|Darrin Zinger British/ Canadian||1992-1994 & 1995-1998||241||101||149||250||205|
|Stuart Potts British #||2004-||281||79||159||238||137|
|Ollie Bronnimann British/ Swiss||2005-2009||239||99||101||200||194|
|Karry Biette Canadian||1999-2001||120||88||110||198||251|
|Nick Cross British#||1996-1997 & 2003-||343||77||120||197||648|
- Most Games Played: #17 Rick Plant (576)
- Most Goals: #10 Ryan Campbell (373)
- Most Goals (British): #17 Rick Plant (201)
- Most Goals by a Defender: #16 Paul Thompson (163)
- Most Assists: #10 Ryan Campbell (543)
- Most Assists (British): #22 Paul Dixon / #17 Rick Plant (310)
- Most Assists by a Defender: #22 Paul Dixon (280)
- Most Points: #10 Ryan Campbell (916)
- Most Points (British): #17 Rick Plant (511)
- Most Points by a Defender: #16 Paul Thompson (410)
- Most PiMs: #25 Vaclav Zavoral (1013)
Top 7 Flames Goalies with 10 or more Starts (based on Save %). As of the end of the 2008/09 Season.
Note: GS = Games started; M = Minutes Played; SOG = Shots Faced; GA = Goals Against; SV% = % of shots saved; SO = Shut Outs; GAA = Average Goals Against per game; W = Wins; L = Losses; T = Ties; OTL = Overtime Loss; # =Active Flames Player
|Jamie McLennan Canadian||04-05||10||570||288||21||92.71||0||2.21||6||3||0||1|
|Mark McArthur Canadian||00-02||123||7249||3861||311||91.95||8||2.57||81||31||4||6|
|Joe Watkins British||05-09||204||11723:19||6385||527||91.75||9||2.7||136||50||8||8|
|Miroslav Bielik Slovak||04-05||58||3469||1900||165||91.32||6||2.85||26||26||3||3|
|Stevie Lyle British||03-04||67||4033||1832||161||91.21||5||2.40||42||21||4||0|
|Tom Annetts British||04-07||29||1958||943||89||90.56||3||2.73||20||8||1||0|
|Jamey Organ Canadian||97-00||111||6600||3204||314||90.20||12||2.85||80||24||6||2|
The retired numbers at the Guildford Flames are:
- 3 Canadian Stan Marple
- 10 Canadian Ryan Campbell
- 11 Canadian Fred Perlini
- 12 Canadian Terry Kurtenbach
- 15 BritishAndy Sparks
- 1992-94 - Canadian/ BritishDarren Zinger
- 1994-99 - Canadian Paul Thompson
- 1999-00 - Canadian Karry Biette
- 2000-01 - Canadian Wayne Crawford
- 2001-07 - BritishPaul Dixon
- 2007-?? - BritishRicky Plant
| Succeeded by|
|EPIHL Premier Cup Champions|
| Succeeded by|
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Guildford Flames. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|