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.