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2016-2017
 

Nobody could have foreseen the transpiration of events that comprised the club’s 25th anniversary season.   Spectrum’s men opened 2016-2017 on the back of a pair of trophies after capturing the Cup and Playoff jewels the season prior.  Retaining most of the team that brought silver back to Guildford put expectations on high. Though the off season saw the club lose the services of British forwards Matt Towe and Lee Esders, each to short-lived retirements, the bulk of the “Double” winning side was in tact including Finnish netminder Richard Ullberg, who joined a roster featuring returnees Marcus Kristoffersson, Jens Eriksson, and Matic Kralj, as well as the only newcomer to the non-British mix, Slovak forward Marek Maslonka.  They joined a star returning British contingent that included Kevin Phillips, Danny Meyers, Tom Duggan, Ben Campbell, Andy McKinney and Jez Lundin.  Ullberg was partnered with former Cardiff Devil Mike Will who joined Maslonka as the only two new members of a side expecting a run at every trophy on offer. 

Unfortunately, familiarity did not impact effectiveness as the Flames stumbled out of the gate with just a pair of wins in their opening 6 outings throughout September. Though they opened October with a 4 point weekend haul, it was not a sign of things to come for the next couple of months as Surrey’s side picked up just 6 wins from 16 attempts for the rest of the month and through November.   Across that run, change was the name of the game as the club worked to steady the ship.    When all was said and done, Slovak forward Jakub Kubis came and went, Kristoffersson moved on to retirement, Joonas Kuusela and Dean Skinns replaced Ullberg before Kuusela himself was also moved aside.  Rupert Quiney was released and Finnish forward Tuomas Santavuori joined the ranks. In early December, with season ending injuries to Kralj and British skater Andrew Melachrino really highlighting a tough luck campaign, Slovak sniper Michal Satek signed on from financially troubled Telford Tigers and, finally, so began a better show of results. 

In the final month of the calendar year Spectrum’s tenants won 6 of 9, a run that included a season high 4 game winning streak, and had points in 7 of those starts to gain stability around the league’s mid table region.  In early January, Finnish veteran Kari Sihvonen came aboard and completed the final roster setting.  Improved results continued throughout the month with 11 of 16 possible points secured. 

With the league out of reach, and a repeat of Cup success no longer an option, a look ahead to the playoffs was where the sights were set.  Though February was a struggle that included a 3 game skid, performance was on the up, and finally in March, and particularly with the playoff group round, things came together.  After failing to capture a win all season against Telford Tigers, the Flames rolled up in Shropshire to begin the group schedule with a 3-0 shock of the newly minted League Champions.  The Flames followed that with wins over Sheffield at home and a road success at Peterborough where they had struck out on all 3 tries across the regular season.  In the end, with 11 of a possible 12 points to top the group A playoff gang, the club, against the odds, had secured a berth in the Coventry final 4 weekend with their only group blemish an overtime defeat to the Tigers.  Unfortunately for Spectrum’s team, the eventual Playoff champion Milton Keynes Lightning dashed the hopes for a playoff repeat. In the elimination semi-final, the Flames suffered their only regulation defeat in the competition where 5 unanswered Bolts goals in the last 10 minutes blew open a 3-3 tie and ended in an 8-3 loss.    

Despite a strong playoff showing ending abruptly with no trophy, the biggest prize to Flames fans had already been announced in February.   With the announcement to beat all announcements, the club declared it would ice, for the first time in its quarter century history, at the top level of UK pro hockey beginning in 2017-2018 as a member of the Elite ice hockey league; a reality that fully took shape in that bitter sweet moment when playoff elimination put 12 seasons of EPL membership in the history books, and simultaneously brought the sun up on a brand new and exciting era of Flames hockey. 

League Table

Team

 GP   

 W   

 OL  

 L    

 GF   

 GA   

 PTS

 Telford*  48  40  3  5  221  128  83
 Milton   Keynes  48  34  3  11  174  124  71
 Basingstoke  48  30  1  17  168  112  61
 Peterborough  48  29  2  17  186  141  60
 Guildford  48  22  5  21  175  171  49
 Swindon  48  22  4   22  156  170  48
 Hull  48  20  2  26  162  201  42
 Sheffield  48  11  6  31  153  225  28
 Bracknell  48  8  4  36  114  237  20
 Manchester**  0  0  0  0  0  0  0
* League Champions
**Manchester ceased operating in January;
their results were pulled from record
Premier Cup Table

Team

 GP   

 W   

 OL  

 L    

 GF   

 GA   

 PTS

 Telford*  18  14  3  1  77  47  31
 Milton Keynes*  18  14  0  4   58  45  28
 Hull*  18  11  0  7  81  66   22
 Peterborough*  18  10  1  7  76  54  21
 Basingstoke  18  10  1  7  54  40  21
 Swindon  18  9  2  7  59  54  20
 Guildford  18  8  3  7   63  63  19
 Sheffield  18  7  2  9  58  64  16
 Bracknell  18  4  1  13  46  87  9
 Manchester  18  3  0   15  40  92   6

*Clinched Semi Final Berth

Semi Final: 

Game 1:  Hull 1 Milton Keynes 4
Game 2:  Milton Keynes 8 Hull 2 
(Milton Keynes win 4 points to 0)

Game 1: Peterborough 4 Telford 2
Game 2: Telford 7 Peterborough 2
(Peterborough win with Overtime/Penalty tiebreaker)


Final:

Game 1: Peterborough 2 Milton Keynes 1
Game 2: Milton Keynes 3 Peterborough 0
(Milton Keynes win with Overtime/Penalty tiebreaker)

Cup Champions: Milton Keynes Lightning
Playoffs

Playoff Quarter Finals:

Group A

 GP   

 W   

 OL  

 L    

 GF   

 GA   

 PTS 

 Guildford*  6  5  1  0  18  9  11
 Telford*  6  4  0  2  28  13  8
 Peterborough     6  3  0  3  26  19  6
 Sheffield  6  0  0  6  8  39  0

Group B

 GP   

 W   

 OL  

 L    

 GF   

 GA   

 PTS 

 Basingstoke*  6  5  0  1  27  12  10
 Milton Keynes*   6  5  0  1  28  15  10
 Swindon  6  2  0  4  21  29  4
 Hull  6  0  1  5  14  34  1

*Clinched Semi Final berth


Playoff Semi Finals: 

Guildford 3 Milton Keynes 8
Basingstoke 2 Telford 3

Playoff Final:

Telford 2 Milton Keynes 7

Playoff Champions: Milton Keynes Lightning

Player Stats
Player GP G A P PM
 Ben   Campbell   61  39  37  76  22
 Jens Eriksson  62  23  48  71  78
 Danny   Meyers  62  12  42  54  24
 Marek   Maslonka   55  29  22  51  135
 Jez Lundin   61  13  34  47  90
 Michal Satek  36  17  30  47  6
 Tuomas   Santavuori   41  16  27  43  30
 Tom Duggan  58  14  28  42  96
 Andy   McKinney  57  18  23  41  154
 Matic Kralj  27  13  26  39  64
 Kevin Phillips  62  7  14  21  46
 Andrew   Hemmings  62  9  11  20  16
 Kari   Sihvonen  23  4  13  17  136
 David Savage  39  5  9  14  4
 Marcus   Kristoffersson   13  2  6  8  64
 Sam Waller  56  1  5  6  22
 Sam Godfrey  39  0  6  6  50
 Jared Lane  47  2  2  4  4
 Andrew   Melachrino  25  1  1   2  35
 Rupert Quiney  26  0  2  2  6
 Jakub Kubis  6  0   1  1  14
 Dean Skinns  43  0  1  1  0
 Richard   Ullberg  8  0  1  1  0

 
Player MINS GA GAA SHOTS SV % SO
 Mike Will   1220  57  2.80  585  .903  1
 Dean Skinns  1462  76  3.12  700  .891  2
 Joonas Kuusela   659  40  3.64  346  .884  0
 Richard Ullberg  399  29  4.36  216  .866  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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