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2011-2012
 

After 7 years, and nearly 500 games, between playoff championships, the Flames finally put their post season frustration to rest by winning their first ever English Premier League Playoff title to close out the 2010-2011 season.  As one might have expected from a winning side, a large returning contingent was quickly re-signed, 14 in all, while at the same time some significant roster adjustments were afoot.  Offensive stars Martin Masa and Lukas Smital moved on to Bracknell, joined by Guildford product Rob Lamey, while Slovak netminder Miro Hala also took on the search for new employment.   Spectrum’s outfit went on the hunt for some new additions and came together first with Canadian forward Curtis Huppe who was coming off a league title capture, not to mention a 50+ goal and 100+ point campaign, with Manchester Phoenix.  He was joined up front by fellow countryman Greg Chambers who had just completed a 3 year contract with Coventry Blaze.  To bolster the blue line, Slovak defenceman Branislav Kvetan was picked up from French side Dijon while James Hadfield, a young up and coming netminder who spent his first senior season with Swindon the year prior, agreed to join Mark Lee as part of the goaltending pair.

Looking to build on the playoff momentum from months prior, not to mention a nearly 20 game winning streak that closed out the season, the Flames took the ice in mid-September for a home and away challenge set against Basingstoke Bison and quickly had reality restored with back to back 4-3 defeats.  Points not counting in the standings were hardly cause for alarm, but a stunning league and home opening 4-1 loss to Telford Tigers, making it 3 defeats on the bounce, and the only time in club history that September would close without a win of any sort, was surely not part of the plans drawn up during off season preparation. 

With October, however, came better news as the club rolled out 4 wins over 5 games to start the month.  They generated 15 points from a possible 20, and won all 5 games on home ice sparking optimism once again.  The club would go on to stretch the home winning streak to 12 games, ultimately dropping only 3 more opportunities all season under Spectrum lights, while matching with a solid road record that qualified for first place from the end of November.  They did not relinquish the table summit over the next 4 months on the way to a 5th league title capture that was finalised when Jez Lundin scored on home ice just seconds into overtime against Basingstoke Bison on March 18th.   That championship was noteworthy also for its other significance.  The Flames had not secured a multi trophy season in more than a decade, but by the time league’s top spot was a lock, the Cup championship flag was nearing its final destination at Spectrum thanks to a 6-3 1st leg road win over Sheffield Steeldogs just days before the league celebration.  A 2nd leg 6-2 win on home ice capped a 12-5 aggregate series Cup win, and the club’s first double trophy haul since the treble of 2000-2001.  To set up the cup opportunity the Flames had established the top table position at the end of the group round, earning a semi-final berth against Manchester Phoenix against whom a late 3rd period powerplay goal by David Savage, again on home ice, was the only difference in a 2 game series tied at 2 after 60 minutes and still tied at 4 on aggregate after 100. 

With a pair of trophies in the bag, and plenty of excitement on the way to the silver, those expecting an end to the drama may have been disappointed as the playoff quarter final unfolded.  In the quest for the Treble, a goal by Peterborough Phantoms with 5 seconds left in regulation set them up with a 3-2 lead returning to Guildford for the 2nd half of the ‘win or go home’ series.  A sold out Spectrum went through the ringer 24 hours later as things got worse early with the visiting side shooting out to a 3-1 lead, 3 goals to the good on the combined score.  The league and cup winners looked headed for early playoff elimination before scoring 6 times in the final 27 minutes to recover a 3 goal aggregate deficit on the way to an 8-4 win, 10-7 combined, to lock up a berth in the playoff semi-finals.  The spot in the advanced round was a chance to not only defend their playoff crown, an effort that would be the club’s first ever repeat of a title, but also make a mark on the club’s historical record books with a potential clean sweep of the available hardware for the season.  The Slough Jets, the eventual playoff champions, unfortunately for Flames faithful, had something to say on that subject.  They erased a 2 goal semi-final deficit and de-railed the treble quest by eliminating the Flames with a 3-2 defeat, but the loss, however disappointing, could do nothing to take away from a highlight season among 20 years of activity. 

League Table

Team

 GP   

 W   

 OL  

 L    

 GF   

 GA   

 PTS

 Guildford* 54  36  5  13  245  154  77
 Manchester 54  34  5  15  202  169  73
 Sheffield 54  32  5  17  170  143  69
 Slough  54  33  2  19  228  174  68
 Milton  Keynes 54  32  2  20  176  144  66
 Basingstoke 54  27  3  24  183  189  57
 Swindon 54  25  6  23  201  193  56
 Peterborough 54  20  7  27  188  232  47
 Bracknell 54  18  10  26  160  213  46
 Telford 54  13  2  39  138  277  28
* League Champions
Premier Cup Table

Team

 GP   

 W   

 OL  

 L    

 GF   

 GA   

 PTS

 Guildford*  18  12  2  4  74  44  26
 Milton  Keynes*  18  12  1  5  59  46  25
 Sheffield*  18  11  1  6  56  45  23
 Manchester*  18  10  2  6  66  57  22
 Slough   18  11  0  7  72  62  22
 Basingstoke  18  10  1  7  66  62  21
 Bracknell  18  6  5  7  58  69  17
 Swindon  18  7  1  10  48  56  15
 Peterborough  18  6  3  9  56  78  15
 Telford  18  5  1  12  49  85  11

*Clinched Semi Final Berth

Semi Final:
 

Leg 1:  Manchester 2 Flames 2
Leg 2:  Flames 3 Manchester 2
(Flames win 5-4 on aggregate)

Leg 1: Sheffield 1 v Milton Keynes 0
Leg 2: Milton Keynes 0 v Sheffield 0
(Sheffield win 1-0 on Aggregate)


Final:

Leg 1: Sheffield 3 Flames 6
Leg 2: Flames 6 Sheffield 2  
(Flames win 12-5 on aggregate)

Cup Champions: Guildford Flames
Playoffs

Playoff Quarter Finals:

(League table 1 v 8; 2 v 7; 3 v 6; 4 v 5)
2 Game Aggregate Series

Leg 1:  Peterborough 3 Flames 2
Leg 2: Flames 8 Peterborough 4 
(Flames win 10-7 on aggregate)

Playoff Semi Finals: 

Flames 2 Slough 3 
Manchester 6 Sheffield 5 (PS)

Playoff Final:

Slough 4 Manchester 1

Playoff Champions: Slough Jets

Player Stats
Player GP G A P PM
Nathan Rempel 55 46 36 82 70
David Longstaff 63 20 60 80 30
Milos Melicherik 45 21 48 69 40
Rick Plant 63 23 42 65 30
Curtis Huppe 39 31 26 57 20
Matt Towe 47 15 35 50 20
Greg Chambers 49 16 33 49 28
Jozef Kohut 24 26 15 41 70
Branislav Kvetan 40 15 24 39 70
Paul Dixon 63 5 34 39 52
Jez Lundin 63 10 28 38 68
Ben Campbell 61 16 20 36 26
David Savage 63 9 22 31 60
Andrew Hemmings 61 8 17 25 38
Stuart Potts 61 7 15 22 14
Neil Liddiard 61 1 12 13 128
Andrew Sharp 34 5 0 5 75
Scott Greenfield 63 1 2 3 6
Mark Lee 59 0 3 3 16
James Hadfield 9 0 0 0 0
Chris Cooke 24 0 0 0 0

 Player  MINS  GA  GAA  SHOTS  SV%  SO
Mark Lee 3443:29 156 2.714 1767 0.912 6
James Hadfield 370:09 21 3.386 185 0.886 0
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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