2022-2023, for the first time since the pandemic impact on seasons and rosters, Flames were able to once again recruit with a bit of continuity by retaining 10 players that were with the club the year prior, while adding a remaining roster of new faces. Canadian Taz Burman and American Eamon McAdam signed on to share the with net Adam Long who was the only returnee at the position from the previous term. On the blueline GB national team stalwart Ben O’Connor headlined the off season work while Canadians Bradley Lalonde and Jordan Klimek joined fellow returning countrymen Alex Yuill, Kyle Locke and Mike Crocock.
Up front, Flames Captain and joint leading point getter from 21-22 Brett Ferguson was re-united with Ian McNulty who was back after his part at the top of the club’s points list. Returning also were Canadians Tristan Frei, Turner Ripplinger, and Levi Cable as well as GB national team skater Rob Lachowicz and fellow Brit Owen Griffiths. Newcomer Morgan Clarke-Pizzo rounded out the domestic roster contingent, but he was later joined by Zach Milton who arrived on a 2-way contract with Basingstoke Bison.
In an effort to add some firepower, American forwards Ryan Tait and Peter Crinella, as well as Canadian, and Italian national team member, Daniel Tedesco each transferred from their previous engagements while Swedish forward Sam Marklund made his debut outside his country of birth. Johan Eriksson, also from Sweden, began the campaign in Flames gear but was later released and his spot filled with American skater Logan Fredericks which completed the roster that would close out the campaign.
Though back-to-back early season defeats to start the league campaign may have suggested otherwise, it turned out to be a roster capable of competing for the top of the table evidenced by a first place position for more than half of the campaign and still in with a shout at a league title right to the final weekend of play. After opening with defeats, Spectrum’s men went on an 8 game League and Cup winning run and proceeded through September and October to collect 14 wins from their first 20 games. By the 1st of January, Flames had lost just 4 league games in regulation, were sitting in 1st place in the table, and had advanced to the Cup Quarter final where they defeated Coventry Blaze over a pair of nights to make a Semi Final appearance. Unfortunately, a 2-1 win over Belfast Giants in the 2nd semi final leg could not overcome a 4-0 home defeat in the opening game as Spectrum’s men bowed out of the competition at that point. Despite that disappointment, the club remained at or near the table top throughout the remainder of the schedule and finished in 2nd place with 82 points, just 2 points off the league lead and well over 20 more than any previous Elite version of the side while cracking the top 4 for the first time since joining the league in 2017-2018.
Unfortunately, the playoffs did not follow the league success with Flames falling 4-1 at Nottingham Panthers in game one of the aggregate goal quarter final, meaning a 5-3 win on home ice the next night was a goal short of advancement with Panthers stealing a 7-6 combined win to eliminate Flames from playoff contention.