National Ice Hockey League Division 1

1990-1997

League Titles & Difficult Seasons

1990/91 was the season when Oxford City Stars were crowned champions of English League Division 1, winning out over Milton Keynes on tiebreak by virtue of the results in the matches between them.

Both teams won 23 of their 28 games, but Stars all round strength triumphed as they only conceded 111 goals in the campaign. Jamieson and Prachar again formed a dynamic partnership. Stars went into playoffs against the bottom 2 from British League Division 1, Glasgow Saints and Lee Valley Lions. Stars won the two games against their Scottish opposition but lost the two games against Lee Valley.

1991/92 saw Oxford still in ELD1. They started with two Dans, Prachar and Sweeney, as imports for the Cup campaign at the start of the season, then Sweeney was replaced at the start of the league season by John Gravelle. Derek Flint arrived to supplement a nucleus of experienced British players. Stars finished equal third with Streatham Redskins, some distance behind the runaway leaders Medway Bears (now Invicta Dynamos) and Sheffield Steelers.

Another league restructuring saw Stars competing in the ELD1 Northern(?!) Conference in 1992/93. Each team played the others in their conference home and away twice whilst playing the teams in the other conference once home and away. Oxford ended up 5th in their conference, winning 11 of their 32 matches. Gravelle and Prachar were again the imports, whilst the British players were nearly all Oxford based. One player recruited was Darren Derkson, whilst a notable addition to the ranks was coach Brian Kanewischer.

The next season, 1993/94, was beyond doubt a season when Stars were out of their depth. They played in Division 1 North and only managed to win 1 game and draw 2 out of 44. On the import front Prachar was joined at the start of the season by Robert Koutny who lasted only 4 games. His place was taken by Liam Wheddon who was subsequently replaced by Ari-Pekka Mikkola from the Trafford Metros. The other import was Finnish defenseman Pekka Hilden. Hilden and his defensive colleagues were continually overrun in games with the Stars conceding 743 goals in those 44 games at an average of 16 goals per game. Kanewischer’s position as coach was taken over by James Cameron.

1994-95 saw the Stars join a number of reserve teams in the English National League Southern Conference following the previous seasons poor showing. It was a maximum of one import per team but many of the teams operated without an import. The Stars squad was made up almost entirely of local Oxford based players, many of whom had played the previous season. The team relied on experienced players like Scott Gough, Daryl Morvan and Paul Donohoe.

The following season, 1995/96, saw the Stars continue in the same division but the introduction of Swede Freddie Andreasson and former Slough Jet Richard Boprey saw the Stars top the table winning 21 of their 22 games but came second in the playoffs (which were run as a mini league). Boprey also coached the team. Their closest challengers were the Raiders of Wightlink (playoff winners) and Romford. A number of the experienced players remained and were supplemented by some useful signings from Swindon. Season 1996/97 saw a mid table finish for the Stars. They won 10 of their 22 games. The team made some further signings from Swindon, including Alan Armour, Grant Bailey and Ian Richards, but lost Andreasson in the second month.

1997 – 2003

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