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1998-1999
 

If Flames thought 96-97 had hurt they had no idea of the ride this season was to bring.  After the euphoria of the previous season, as the most successful in Flames’ history, came the anti-climax of an injury-rocked season.  Stan Marple had his team in place by the end of May, leaving other coaches in the BNL to follow his lead.  Championship experience was a key ingredient but when impact players left the squad, alarm bells could be heard faintly amongst supporters.
 

That said, on paper the resulting 98-99 team was more talented offensively- if not as complete as past teamsReturning Albertans Kirk Humphreys, Pete Kasowski and Barcley Pearce were the forwards who stole most of the glory with their lightning speed, fancy goals and ingenious passes, while new comers Scott Stephenson and Adrian Lomonaco joined Ryan Campbell up front, all were workhorses who made things happen every game.  In October, American Derek DeCosty returned to the fold from an injury prone year at Bracknell.
 

There was a change in the Management structure when Valerie Vassie had to leave and return to Canada, her place being taken by Malcolm Norman who had retired from 38 years in Banking.
 

After a start to the league that left Flames in contention for honours, Joe Johnston left to make way for Robin Davison another former Swindon player.  Flames captured the Benson and Hedges Plate in a thrilling win (4-3) over Telford Tigers, but things began to go wrong as they approached the leagues holiday break, they were matched against Peterborough Pirates in the semi-final of the Christmas Cup.  The first leg took place on January 9 and anyone close to the Flames will tell you that was the night their upcoming title chances ended.  A controversial season-ending ankle injury to starting netminder Jamey Organ helped Flames crash out of the cup competition, sparking disciplinary investigations and appeals that stretched into late February.  Organ required pins and screws in his ankle to help mend the break.  Reports of the incident itself made a name for Peterborough Pirate Nathan Rempel, for all the wrong reasons.  As the debate continued a prolonged search for a replacement goalie began and Marple’s grip on the BNL title loosened game-by-game as vital points were dropped. 
 

Community Spirit and fund raising continued this season, as Jamie Organ and Pete Kasowski launched their “Flames in the Kitchen” cookbook and the infamous Canadian delicacy, Porgies in aid of Disability Challenge. Toys were also gathered for County Sounds’ Christmas Toy Appeal. Jamie Organ was on hand to present the Child of Achievement award, to Joe Easton from Bramley, and enforcer Mark Pallister was even seen sporting a red nose for Comic Relief! By the end of season the tally of children to be visited by the Drug Freeze programme had reached the 25,000 mark, pulling in even more accolades for the team.
 

Additions to the squad by signing deadline ensured that Flames were contenders in the fresh start that is the playoffs - Mark McCoy and Mark Pallister brought notable experience while former Solihull netminder Jarkko Kortesoja saw out the season between the pipes. Yet even with their contribution, a third place league finish was all Flames could muster. 
 

The Championship weekend provided a chance to salvage some success, although almost predictably, the unpredictable happened – Flames lost to the under-dog in the semi final. Enthusiastic Humphreys put his body on the line one too many times and dislocated his shoulder in play off semi’s.  He left the ice for the final time; the injury leaving him with little feeling and no strength in his arm meant the end of his playing career.
 

The summer of 1999 saw the unexpected retirement of mainstay defence man Terry Kurtenbach, moving home to Canada with his wife Julie.  Terry was at the top of his game and had just completed his 13th season in Britain, moving from defence to forward during the injury problems.  During his stay here he served at Nottingham and Romford helping with the junior developments at both teams, as well as featuring in the GB team. 

League Table
British National League  GP  PTS  GF  GA 
Slough Jets 32  23  48  137  78 
Basingstoke Bison 32 22 8 2 46 148 109
Guildford Flames  32  21  10  43  152  104 
Peterborough Pirates  32  19  11  40  152  122 
Fife Flyers  32  15  16  31  121  126 
Telford Tigers  32  14  17  29  141  160 
Kingston Hawks  32  14  17  29  113  127 
Edinburgh Capitals  32  20  21  112  185 
Paisley Pirates  32  24  15  91  156 
Player Stats
Player  GP  PTS  PIMS 
Barclay Pearce  56  54  69  123  46 
Peter Kasowski  64  36  59  95  32 
Kirk Humphreys  59  48  40  88  22 
Ryan Campbell  64  30  54  84  42 
Scott Stephenson  64  32  38  70  28 
Derek DeCosty  46  30  35  65  44 
Terry Kurtenbach  62  13  26  39  56 
Brian Mason  64  13  26  39  38 
Paul Thompson  55  10  19  29  74 
Greg Randall  62  19  28  10 
Rob Lamey  61  14  13  27  53 
Adrian Lomonaco  21  11  19  40 
Mark McCoy  18  17  10 
Simon Howard  59  12  62 
Mark Pallister  22  11  47 
Andy Pickles  23  11  12 
Robin Davison  22  11  22 
Dominic Hopkins  61  10 
Andy Johnston  64 
Rob Johnston  64 
Peter Morley  63  43 
Nick Rothwell 
Sam Mager  58  12 
Joe Johnston  18 
Stan Marple 
Jason Moses 
David Rushforth 
Tyrone Miller
Michael Wales  0
Simon Griffiths
Jamie Clarke 
Adam Franks 
Johnny Hepburn 
Rory Alexander 
Tom Boney 
Michael Simmons 1 0 0 0
Ben Hammond
Netminder  Mins  SOG  GA  SV %  SO  GAA 
Jamey Organ 1453  781  75  90.40  3.10 
Jarkko Kortesoja  1045 553  63 88.61 3.62 
Simon Smith  1187  545  76  86.06  3.84 
Pasi Raitanen 120  69  97.10  1.00 
Simon Lavis   35  28  85.71  6.86 
Peter Olsson  0.00
Looking Back

GUILDFORD FLAMES ICE HOCKEY CLUB
Guildford Spectrum
Parkway, Guildford
Surrey GU1 1UP

Tel: 01483 452244

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