National Ice Hockey League Division 2 (South)

2016-2019

2016/17.  Once again under the tutorship of Coach Simon Anderson, Stars finished 4th at the end of the regular season. The league started with nine teams but was soon reduced to eight when the Ice Rink at Ryde closed. The Isle of Wight Raiders team played a few games at nearby Solent, including the Stars on what was to their final game – a very surreal experience for all that were there. Stars benefited from the Raiders closure and signed experienced Czech winger Jaroslav Cesky and British players Brendan Baird and Ben Paynter to supplement their squad. Stars had started the season with the signing of Finn Joonas Liimatainen. Expectation was high but he failed to deliver in a Stars shirt preferring instead the rich tapestry of student life in Oxford. Elsewhere on the roster Ben and Josh Ealey-Newman acquitted themselves well as did young prospect Jesse Lye. Stars played London Raiders in the play off quarter final and after suffering a narrow 4-2 loss in the away leg were crushed 7-1 at Oxpens Road in the 2nd leg

The summer of 2017 was to be pivotal for the league structure. Initially Stars were in a 1st division consisting of 2 conferences. This structure fell like a deck of cards as firstly Chelmsford, then Solent backed out of the Division leaving Stars with no alternative to do the same. There had been an intention to enter a Stars team in Division Two as well and it was at the eleventh hour that agreement was reached with all parties that the Stars would ice in Division 2. 

2017/18. The first casualty of the summer shake up saw Coach Simon Anderson replaced by Kenny Redmond. He signed Czech Kamil Kinkor who had previously played at Bracknell under Redmond. His goal scoring exploits pleased the Oxford fans. His reluctance to undertake his defensive duties did not impress the coaching staff. Steller signing was defenceman Alex Staples from Chelmsford, who with the veteran Dom Hopkins provided a strong defensive base for the team. Up front Joe Edwards stepped up to try and fill the skates of Alan Green who had retired at the end of the previous season. Kinkor was released late in the season but the Stars went on to win the league title and also triumphed against Sutton Sting in the North versus South final, held at Coventry. In the play-offs they comfortably beat Bristol in the quarter final, but were no match for Chelmsford in the semi-final.

2018/19 saw a new owner at the helm of the Stars. Legend Scott Gough took over control and stamped his mark on the club. Michal Oravec joined as the teams import. He had been playing in the UK since 2012 and was signed as a playmaker. Former Swindon Wildcat Lee Richardson joined and his class stood out over all around him. The two shared just over 100 points between them. Once again, the team had a good nucleus of Oxford based players. In goal Milan Ronai continued his development but his season was hampered by injury. With 10 games to go Redmond and the Stars parted company and Richardson took over the Head Coach role. Despite only losing 4 games all season the Stars finished 4th, crucially losing twice to Solent Devils. It was the Devils who ended Stars season with a 6-1 win at the same stage of the play-offs as the previous season. 2018/19 was to be the final season for Darren Elliott as he hung up his skates after an emotional farewell in his last game, at Oxpens Road, in which he scored a hat-trick. 

The summer of 2019, saw more changes in the club management with Scott Gough standing down, due to personal reasons and Simon Anderson returning as Head Coach……………….to be continued.

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