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1995-1996
 

Year two of the new organisation and things continued to improve.  The team was strengthened with the addition of a full time coach from the start of season.  Ivan Brown, once a member of the Winnipeg Jets' coaching staff, bought to the team a leadership and structure a player-coach would not be able to.  Working with Ron Charbonneau and returning imports Thompson and Campbell, Brown assembled a team with, as ever, a lot of promise.  New signings were led by the potentially high scoring import combination of Luc Chabot and the eventual player of the year Troy Kennedy. Dual national defender Darrin Zinger returned from a season with close rivals Slough Jets, and Nottingham goalie Steve Butler joined.  However, Flames' had over filled their import quota, so Coach Brown had to sit one import forward in each game to avoid breaking the import regulations.  By October though, Kennedy and Campbell had formed such a lethal scoring line with veteran Fred Perlini that Chabot was released. 

Flames made little impression in the Benson and Hedges Cup, as they were unlucky enough to be drawn into the same group as the Premier powerhouses Sheffield Steelers and Nottingham Panthers.  However, the league campaign was more promising and it was only their lack of games compared to the others (Flames regularly had five games in hand over the leading teams) that kept them out of the top five for most of the season.  In fact, Flames enjoyed close games against many of the league's leading sides and provided the Spectrum's growing crowds with some great hockey.

By the transfer deadline in January, the team had a whole new look.  Ronnie Evans-Harvey had been replaced by Dave Gregory, from Murrayfield, who eventually took over on defence, when Zinger was injured.  Butler had gone to make way for his childhood hero, Dave Graham.  At Christmas, Andy Sparks, the only Flame remaining from the original 92-93 team, retired from the sport to pursue a career in the City.  In a fitting tribute in front of a full house, his no. 15 shirt was the first to be retired and hung from the rafters. 

Graham's link with Solihull Barons enabled Flames to sign import Rylan Ferster.  Despite problems earlier in the season Ferster was eligible as Kennedy and Thompson had, by this time, been awarded dual national status. Brown had also acquired Ville Lilja and Ilka Larva, the latter not staying many weeks, from the Finnish first division and two players who were very much responsible for Flames' success in the second half of the season.   Portuguese-Canadian Paulo Silva; whose spirit and desire to win rubbed off on his team mates and showmanship meant he was instantly a fan favourite and "Super" Mario Belanger; who despite injury became Flames' top scorer in the playoffs.  Even Flames' Management got in on the act, when general manager Ron Charbonneau made his goaltending comeback on 18 February with a 28- shot shutout against Billingham Bombers in his first league game in Britain.

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.

League Table
Division 1  GP  PTS  GF  GA 
Manchester Storm 52  49  99  539  185 
Blackburn Hawks  52  37 13  76  440  278 
Bracknell Bees  52 35  13  74  420  233 
Swindon Wildcats  52 35  15  72  472  280 
Dumfries Border Vikings  52  34  16  70  395  240 
Guildford Flames  52  32  16  68  384  234 
Paisley Pirates  52  30  19  63  428  398 
Telford Tigers  52  26  25  53  369  340 
Medway Bears  52  18  30  40  296  373 
Chelmsford Chieftains  52  16  31  37  267  377 
Peterborough Pirates  52  14  35  31  274  434 
Solihull Barons  52  10  39  23  276  504 
Billingham Bombers  52  45  13  242  665 
Murrayfield Royals  52  47  172  533 
Player Stats
Player  GP  PTS  PIMS 
Fred Perlini 66 106  71  177  88 
Troy Kennedy  64  58  112  170  64 
Ryan Campbell  65  58  99  157  93 
Terry Kurtenbach  64  44  67  111  66 
Paul Thompson  67  34  49  83  205 
Rylan Ferster  32  38  30  68  20 
Elliott Andrews  58  25  29  54  42 
Drew Chapman  60  18  28  46  130 
Dave Gregory  38  23  29  87 
Nick Rothwell  60  12  17  29  148 
Andy Allan  66  18  24  70 
Mario Bellanger  15  24 
Darrin Zinger  42  14  23  58 
Luc Chabot  10  17  12 
Andy Sparks  34  12  17  59
Paulo Silva 20  11  16  118 
Barrie Aisbitt  54  15  39 
Ville Lilija  17 14  64 
Ronnie Evans-Harvey  27  11  40 
Billy Rawles  12 
Wayne Trunchion  31 
Joe Johnston 
Peter Morley  3 0 0 0
Ilka Larva 
Sam Mager 
Netminder Mins  SOG  GA  SV %  SO  GAA 
Dave Graham 2051  1187  145  87.78  4.24 
Dean Russell-
Samways 
985   492  78   84.15   4.75 
Steve Butler 895  644  115  82.14  7.71 
Ron
Charbonneau
148 85 11 87.06 4.46 
Looking Back

GUILDFORD FLAMES ICE HOCKEY CLUB
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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