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Guildford Flames
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The inaugural season for Guildford Flames started in October 1992.  Taking part in the English League Division one, which was the then starting place for all new teams, Flames were the last team that year to play their first league game at home, on Saturday 23 January 1993, just one week after fellow newcomers Paisley Pirates.  Flames trained at Slough by kind permission of Gary Stefan, for the four months until Spectrum opened. With the fixture list deliberately arranged for a December opening, Flames completed most of their away fixtures in the early stages of the season, using Alexandra Palace in North London when home fixtures were unavoidable. 

The team was then owned by Barry Dow, an American who already owned basketball's Guildford Kings (formerly Kingston Kings) and Brit Bill Hurley, who were both new to Ice Hockey.  However, they made sure two seasoned veterans of the sport; Canadian player-coach Mike Urquhart, (Nottingham, Chelmsford and latterly Livingston, who won the

1991-92 Scottish League championship) and Canadian blue-liner and Captain, Darrin Zinger (Streatham, Lee Valley and Richmond) assembled their new venture. 

The first key players signed were Canadian duo Sean Murphy and Dave McGahan, fresh from their high scoring exploits with Solent Vikings (more recently known as Wight Link Raiders).  Joining them was a British contingent led by veteran goalie Mike Kellond, forward Danny O'Hanlon and the colourful defence man Gary Shearer to name but a few.

When opening night eventually arrived, there was a carnival atmosphere in the Spectrum with man sized care bears, cheerleaders and even a mayor!  As this first game was the opening event in Spectrum's life, partygoers were allowed a sneak peak at the rest of the complex during period breaks.  Chris Dyke of the Surrey Advertiser, described the £28 million council owned arena as "awesome", in his first ice hockey report for the paper. Flames celebrated their move into their new home by winning convincingly, with Andy Sparks scoring the first-ever goal at the Spectrum and then going top of their conference group the next day, a position they found themselves in for the remainder of the season.

Despite this comfortable lead, there was a price to pay for early success and delayed opening of the Spectrum. All 16 remaining home games had to be fitted into a period of 11 weeks, which over-stretched the team. The winning kept up but defenders Urquhart and Zinger and netminder Kellond particularly ran into injury problems and to make things worse the injuries came just before the start of the play-offs.  

After finishing with a record of twenty-five wins and only six losses and one draw, Flames won only four of their eight play-offs games. Beating conference 'A' winners Solihull Barons at home, Flames then lost the league championship at Solihull with a three goal aggregate deficit and finally finished a joint third with surprise contenders Bristol Bulldogs.  This was still enough for them to secure promotion to British League Division One for the following season.

Helped by intensive publicity Flames played to average crowds of over 2,000 for the remainder of the season, often managing to fill to capacity (2,200) as Guildford residents reacted well to their first taste of ice hockey. Travel to away games was also encouraged and to keep costs for both the team and supporters down, everyone would travel together on one coach.  Not always the best place to be if the game had been lost, but many a story can be told, or picture shown of the player's antics on the long trip home from a winning game.

This positive vibe spread to the ears of local businesses as Flames managed to secure the involvement of some major sponsors, local insurance giant, Cornhill were joined by Texaco (programme sponsor) and Pepsi Cola (shirt sponsor).  The last prompting a temporary name change to the "Pepsi Guildford Flames" from February to November of 1993.

League Table
English League 
Conference A  GP W T PTS GF GA 
Solihull Barons 32  23  48  394  199 
Bristol Bulldogs  32  19  11  40  270  189 
Trafford Metros  31  19  12  38  254  210 
Blackburn Hawks  32  18  13  37  325  204 
Oxford City Stars  32  11  20  23  234  352 
Sunderland Chiefs  32 29  172  471 
Conference B GP PTS  GF  GA 
Guildford Flames 32  25 51  357  201 
Chelmsford Chieftains 32 22 47  357  168 
Streatham Redskins  31 19  12  38  363  262 
Wightlink Raiders  32  15  17  30  285  316 
Stevenage Sharks  32  10 22  20  256 400 
Basingstoke Bulldogs  32 29  134  429 

Player Stats
Player GP  PTS  PIMS 
Sean Murphy 40 117 163  280  46 
Dave McGahan 40 138  124  262 86 
Darrin Zinger 35  43  72  115  40 
Andy Sparks 30  38  26  64  53 
Danny O'Hanlon 40 24  23  47  54 
Gary Shearer 39  22  24  46  102 
Leigh Baker  40  14  23  24 
Dave Wilson 40  17  25  55 
Mike Urquhart 34  11  18  41 
Steve Condren 34  0 54 
Phil Adams
Chris Wilson 40  16 
Darren Peries 16

Netminder Mins  SOG  GA  SV %  SO  GAA 
Mike Kelland 1577 905 162 82.09 0 6.16
Mike Shead 496  310  66 78.71  0 7.98 
Mo Kadhim 267 156 36 76.92  0 8.09 
Simon Burns 60  38  4 89.47  0 4.00 

Looking Back

Guildford Spectrum
Parkway, Guildford
Surrey GU1 1UP

Tel: 01483 452244

Sportfact Ltd t/a Guildford Flames Ice Hockey Club registered in England number 2936656
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