Ice Hockey: Flames chase piece of history

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The Independent Online
AS AYR Scottish Eagles close in on an unprecedented grand slam of titles in British ice hockey's elite league, Guildford Flames are also on target to make history of their own.

Flames had never won anything before this season, but having already secured the British National League and Southern Conference titles, they are aiming for a treble when the play-offs start today.

Their coach, Stan Marple, has been here before as he and a trio of Flames players in Barclay Pearce, Brian Mason and Ricky Plant were all part of the Swindon IceLords side which won the British Premier League and play- offs last season.

Flames face Kingston Hawks, Paisley Pirates, Slough Jets and Murrayfield Royals in group A, while group B comprises Telford Tigers, Peterborough Pirates, Fife Flyers, Lancashire Hawks and Cardiff Rage.

Marple said: "It's a tough group. The key for a side is to stay healthy. It's also the time when you expect your big players to show up."

Each team will play one another once home and away, with the final being staged at Hull Arena over the weekend of 21 and 22 March.