The Flames opened 2008-2009, their 4th season in the EPL, as the reigning league champions after dusting off their 2nd league title in 3 EPL campaigns. The competition during the 07-08 edition of the season was stiff, however, with the League, Playoff, Premier Cup and Knockout Cup trophies each collected by a different club.
If onlookers failed notice the competitive nature of last year, it took little time into the new term to show that the previous year was not an aberration and that indeed the gap from the top of the table to the bottom was no longer a chiasm, but rather a hairline fracture. After winning their first 3 starts, the defending champions went on a 3 game losing skid, including suffering their first ever loss to the Wightlink Raiders, the first of 3 consecutive defeats to the Island based club, and their first EPL home defeat by the Telford Tigers. The confines of Spectrum that had on so many previous occasions been to the advantage of Surrey's team, proved to be difficult ground to open the season as the Flames won just 5 of their first 10 home contests. By the New Year, though that particular record had improved dramatically, a 4-3 January defeat to the Romford Raiders and a 4-2 loss to Swindon Wildcats completed the signal of league parity with no team, either home or away, having failed to take points from the Flames.
During the ups and downs of the very early going, the Flames were treated to a unique 'break' of sorts with a trip to Slovakia to represent the EPL and British ice hockey by taking part in an exhibition match in front of Queen Elizabeth on her first state visit to the country. A 6-5 loss to Extraleague side HK Poprad could hardly tarnish the excitement and significance of the event before it was immediately home to EPL activity. A 1-0 win over Bracknell Bees began a stretch over the coming months that saw the Flames advance to a 65% winning rate, and a take over of the top of the table from late October until the beginning of February. Early in the calendar's shortest month, however, the impressive consistency of the Peterborough Phantoms moved the Cambridgeshire side to the summit, nudging the Flames a couple of points off the lead in the stretch run's final approach. A pair of head to head wins against the Phantoms within the space of a week put the Flames back on top of the table, but that position was transient as the Phantoms finally overtook the league champions once and for all as February came to a close, ensuring there would be no league champion repeat for Spectrum's side.
With a 5 win from 6 game record against the champions to be, A Premier Cup semi final win over the Slough Jets, however, propelled the Flames to the Cup final where they would take on the eventual league champions.Surrey's team had as good a chance as any to collect the Cup. A 4-3 home win in leg 1 made that possibility look all the more realistic heading to the concluding game. Unfortunately, the Phantoms had other ideas and took just a few minutes into the 2nd leg of the aggregate final to take a multiple goal lead on their way to a 6-3 win, 9-7 on aggregate, to secure their second trophy of the season to go with the league title they clinched just a few days prior.
Before leg 1 was nine minutes old the Essex side had a 3-0 lead and a very early finger on a ticket to the The Flames were paired with the league's hottest team, the Romford Raiders, who opened the two game quarter final aggregate series on home ice where they were sporting a 13 game winning streak. The new look playoff quarter final format, along with the league's proven ability for any team to win on any night, opened the door for all eight participating clubs. With the 'Double' already safely in the Phantoms grip, the league had one last chance to derail the 'Treble Train' and the Flames had another opportunity to collect the playoff championship which had so far eluded them in their first three EPL seasons, all three of which advancement to the finals weekend had taken place.Coventry finals weekend. Thankfully, for Flames fans, the visitor's offence sprung to life with 4 goals before the opening period closed and another couple late in the game to secure a 2 goal aggregate lead with a 6-4 win. Back at Spectrum the following evening, a sold out building watched as the Flames booked their semi final slot with a 5-1 victory to tally an 11-5 aggregate win in advancing to the single elimination round in Coventry.
Unfortunately, a Lightning goal just 139 seconds from time knotted the score at two each, forcing overtime and eventually penalty shots where two goals in three tries for Milton Keynes overcame a pair of Flames misses to ensure that the playoff title would stay away from If ice hockey matches were 57 minutes long, a place in the final would have followed. seed Milton Keynes Lightning in the semi final.nd seed, the Flames were up against the 2rdAs the league table's 3Guildford for yet another season.
The Lightning moved on to the championship game, but the train was already rolling and Phantoms completed the treble with a 5-4 win, in the process, shutting out all 9 other teams in the season's trophy haul.