National Ice Hockey League Division 1

2003-2009

Stars rebuild and rebound

The Stars returned and shone once again under the stewardship of club legend Dan Prachar who assembled an exciting team mixing players from Swindon and Oxford.

With crowds improving and the team winning consistently the team finished second only to the all conquering Invicta Dynamos. They also smashed Oxford University in the annual Town v Gown and reached the national cup final only to lose out to Sheffield.

In 2004-05 Despite retaining most of their squad the Stars could not improve on the previous years success however they did sign a sponsorship deal with national restaurant chain Smollenskys. High scoring import and team talisman Derek Flint left to go home to Vancouver. Stars finished second in the division for the second year running as well as reaching the playoff’s.

The 2005-06 season saw the Stars enter the Premier league cup as well as the English National league and this stretched the squad too far with the fixtures building up and morale fading. Along with the loss of Derek Flint the team struggled in the lower half of the team despite being able to beat any team on their day. Towards the end of the season coach Dan Prachar was replaced by veteran defenceman Paul Donohoe who steadied the ship till the end of the season.

2006-07 saw the Stars need to rebuild their side after a number of Oxford players sign for the newly formed Swindon Wildcats Development Team. This left the management with work to do finding replacements before the beginning of the 2006–07 season this saw the Stars use more local players than in previous seasons with a number of younger players getting a chance in the team. Under the guidance of coach Darryl Morvan and his assistant Paul Foster the Stars started the season inconsistently but hit form at the right time and shocked everyone by sneaking in to the final play off spot with a last gasp win over local rivals Swindon in front of a partisan crowd in Oxford.

The play offs were a step too far for the young City Stars squad however they still had one last surprise up their sleeve when they beat league champions Invicta Dynamos 4-1 to ruin the Kent clubs play off hopes.

Into 07-08 and Stars finished 3rd in Section A of the Southern Divisiom with Alan Green and Dean Francis leading the way in points scoring. Stars missed out on the playoff’s by four points from the Cardiff Dragons. Yet another re-structure then occurred with the English National League splitting itself into a two division format with promotion and relegation between the regionalised conferences and Stars took up their place in ENL Division 1 (South) for the following season.

Stars had a good season in 2008 with head-coach Richie Hargreaves leading the team to a third place finish. Darren Elliott won the points race for the team narrowly from Hargreaves and Stars qualified for the playoff’s and took on the Bracknell Hornets. Horrnets had the better of the two-legged tie but the series produced a 9-7 thriller in the second leg at Bracknell.

2009 – Present

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