The 2014-2015 season began with significant change. Milos Melicherik took on the assistant coaching role full time, while Stuart Potts moved to a bench coaching position. Andrew Sharp, Ricky Skene, Nicky Watt, Mark Lee, Dean Holland, and Martin Opatovsky were not on the roster to start the new campaign. Great Britain national team defenceman Danny Meyers signed up with the Surrey club as did Braehead Clan forward Matt Towe who was returning to Guildford for a 2nd tour after spending a pair of seasons with the side a few years prior. Young defenceman Sam Godfrey left his Swindon base to help the Flames blue line crew, and forward Andy McKinney moved south from Manchester Phoenix. Former NHL and GB national team member Owen Fussey, a native Canadian, represented the only new foreign skater. He joined Curtis Huppe, Branislav Kvetan, Marcus Kristoffersson and Jozef Kohut who all had contracts refreshed for the new term.
A few new players were not the only thing different about the new campaign. A fresh new playing format included North and South conference cup groups and 6 English National League sides participating in the competition. Across a 14 game group round, the Flames finished with 11 wins and 3 losses for a 3 way joint conference 1st place tie; good enough for the Southern group’s 2nd Cup semi-final slot.
In league play, the club posted 6 wins from the opening 10 games, but a 7-1 home defeat to Telford Tigers during that stretch indicated the challenge ahead against the Shropshire outfit who eventually hoisted the League championship trophy. As things turned out, it was also the Tigers who drew in against the Flames in the 2 game aggregate goal Cup semi-final. An excellent start at home for Spectrum’s men had them in a 3-0 lead before the game was 10 minutes old, but a furious Tigers reply the rest of the way put them on their coach home with a 4-3 1st leg win and a 1 goal aggregate lead they eventually turned to a 9-5 combined win that eliminated the Flames from further cup competition.
In December, Spectrum’s men opted for some roster alterations by saying goodbye to Huppe and Fussey while inviting a pair of Slovakian forwards into the mix. Former NHL forward Roman Tvrdon added speed to the line-up while 6’4”, 215 Vladimir Kutny joined Tvrdon in finishing the season on about a point a game pace. Around the same time, netminder James Hadfield secured the starting job, going on to start and finish all but 1 of the games from December 7th onwards, eventually completing the season with more than 2000 minutes of action behind him, a save percentage North of 91, and a 2.65 goals against average.
Though the Flames would not catch the Tigers at the top of the league table, some excellent stretches throughout the season, including a 7 game winning run across the Christmas schedule, and a 9 of 12 success rate at the back end of January and the front end of February, had the side in a solid 2nd place where they remained through schedule completion; a 1 spot improvement on the 3rd place finish from the year prior.
With the league schedule in the rear view mirror, and an eye on a 10th consecutive Playoff final 4 appearance, the Flames faced Milton Keynes Lightning in a 2 game aggregate goal Playoff quarter final event. Despite outshooting the Buckinghamshire side in 5 of 6 periods, and by nearly 30 shots overall, a 3-2 and 4-3 loss tallied a 7-5 aggregate defeat. The result cemented elimination from the playoffs without advancement to the semi-finals for the first time ever as a member of the English Premier League, and an extra week of off season to contemplate plans for the term ahead.