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2007-2008
 

The summer of 2007 highlighted a landmark change for the club with the promotion of long time captain Paul Dixon to the Head Coaching seat; the first new Head coach for the side in 10 years following Stan Marple's return to his Canadian base.  While keeping the core of the club from the previous campaign, Dixon opted to add Dominic Hopkins to his defensive unit, and managed the key signing of league star Lukas Smital who transferred from the Bracknell Bees.  Terry Miles added some depth up front following his migration from Slough Jets and Alex Mettam replaced the outgoing Tom Annetts as part of the netminding duo.  The end of the 06-07 season was the last for former Olympian Marian Smerciak who took his talents to Germany while young Guildford junior product Andrew Hemmings made the short trip to Bracknell where he helped his new side to the Premier Cup title. 
 

Some early struggles for the new look Flames did away with their chance to repeat the Premier cup win.  Extended simultaneous injuries to Smital, Vinny Zavoral, Rick Skene and Hopkins left Spectrum's team short staffed on too many Premier cup nights, ending the round with a 4 win and 4 loss record, conceding the semi final slot to group mate Milton Keynes Lightning.  Despite the cup record and the injuries, however, Dixon's side hung tough in the early league schedule; pulling points from most outings to ensure they would remain in the running when the late season race was on.  A critical injury to prolific scoring forward Jozef Kohut in early November, which saw him return for just a single game before eventually requiring surgery and a 2 month layoff, looked to put a dent in the Flames offensive machine, but some lucky timing with Peterborough's mid season release of Taras Foremsky was Guildford's gain as the Canadian forward filled an offensive slot nicely, pouring in nearly 70 points in just 40 games with the club.   Immediately, however, the roster shifts did nothing for results as a losing skid continued with Spectrum's team dropping a pair of weekend games to Bracknell and Peterborough to make it 4 defeats in a row.  However, 'darkest before the dawn', a 4-2 win at Milton Keynes the following Saturday sparked an 18 win from 19 starts run from late November to early January; allowing the Flames to take possession of the league's top spot.  The run included a key 3 game in 4 night set where a 6 point haul against Chelmsford, and fellow league contenders, Bracknell and Slough, cemented the Flames position firmly in the league lead.  An 11 game winning run in the final 11 league outings, including a crucial head to head with second place Jets, ensured the Flames would never relinquish the table summit on the way to their 4th league championship.   In addition to the league success, the side had a perfect 4 and 0 record in the Knockout Cup, setting up a 2 leg aggregate semi final against Milton Keynes who proceeded to dismantle the Flames with an 11-6 win over 120 minutes of play, knocking Dixon and his men from further competition in the event. 
 

During the late season league run Kohut returned.  What had, early in the season, been a struggle to put bodies on the ice was now a coaching dream with a selection of foreigners from which to choose, complementing a healthy British contingent heading to the playoff event.  5 wins from 6 playoff round games launched the Flames into the 'final 4' weekend at Coventry Skydome.  Unfortunately, a heartbreaking shorthanded goal with just under 2 minutes remaining in the semi final eliminated the Flames from a possible 'double' thanks to a 4-3 defeat to the eventual playoff champion Slough Jets.   
 

League Table

 Team

GP

W

OL

L

GF

GA

PTS

Guildford* 40  30  208  122  65 
Slough  40 28  195  105  59 
Bracknell 40 24  11  154  119  53 
Peterborough 40 25  12  177  151  53 
Sheffield  40 24  14  160  129  50 
Milton Keynes  40 22  16  160  121  46 
Swindon 40 17  20  133  161  37 
Romford  40 17  20  137  176  37 
Chelmsford  40 13  24  151  189  29 
Telford   40 12  28  135  231  24 
Wightlink  40 32  129  235  16 
* League Champions
Knockout Cup Table

 Team

GP

W

OL

L

GF

GA

PTS

Guildford* 15 
Peterborough*  4 20  12 
Sheffield* 4 20 
Milton Keynes* 4 22 
Slough 19 
Bracknell 14  13 
Swindon 4 10 
Romford  4 10  17 
Wightlink 4 0 1 3 10 22 1
Chelmsford 4 0 0 4 9 23 0
Telford 0 7 27  0

*Clinched Semi Final Berth

Semi Final:

Leg 1: Guildford 3 Milton Keynes 6
Leg 2: Milton Keynes 5 Guildford 3 (MK win aggregate 11-6)

Champions: Peterborough Phantoms

 
Premier Cup Table

 Team

GP 

OL 

GF 

GA 

PTS 

Milton Keynes** 8 6 0 0 2 38 18 12
Guildford 8 4 0 0 4 24 26 8
Chelmsford 8 2 0 0 6 17 31 4

Milton Keynes win group; advance to semi final round

Champions:  Bracknell Bees

Playoffs

Group A GP  OL  GF  GA  PTS 
Sheffield*  6 29  13  10 
Guildford* 6 5 0 1 32  18 10
Peterborough  6 19  27 
Romford  6 12  34 

Group B GP  OL  GF  GA  PTS 
Slough*  6 21  12 
Bracknell* 6 4 0 2 16 16  8
Swindon  6 13  20 
Milton Keynes 6 15  17 

                  *Clinched Semi Final Berth

Playoff Semi Finals:

Slough 4 Flames 3 
Sheffield 2 Bracknell 4

Playoff Final:

Slough 4 v Bracknell 1

Playoff Champion: Slough Jets

Player Stats
 Player GP G A P   PM
Milos Melicherik 59 29 61 90 92
Lukas Smital 54 36 48 84 102
Stuart Potts 61 18 59 77 32
Taras Foremsky 40 27 39 66 51
Rick Plant 61 22 42 64 76
Ollie Bronnimann 61 30 27 57 34
Jozef Kohut 30 27 26 53 77
Paul Dixon 54 9 38 47 48
Vaclav Zavoral 46 25 22 47 221
Rob Lamey 61 19 25 44 70
David Savage 53 21 22 43 56
Neil Liddiard 50 5 21 26 72
Terry Miles 46 6 18 24 42
Dominic Hopkins 54 3 9 12 48
Nick Cross 32 3 6 9 54
Ben Duggan 60 2 5 7 6
Ben Austin 61 0 5 5 55
Rick Skene 52 3 1 4 62
Ben Johnson 61 0 2 2 6
Joe Watkins 53 0 2 2 69
Alex Mettam 18 0 1 1 0

Goaltender  MINS GA GAA Shots Sv% SO
Joe Watkins 3024:06 145 2.876 1727 0.916 4*
Alex Mettam 667:46 39 3.508 335 0.884 1*

*Joe Watkins and Alex Mettam combined for 1 shutout

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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