December 8, 2011

The Get Real Guide to the Coventry Blaze: Building Success from the Ground Up

Founded: 2000

Colours: Black, White, Navy, Sky Blue

Home: Skydome Arena, Coventry

The Coventry Blaze are a team that has built its self up from the very bottom to become one of the most successful teams in British ice hockey over the last 10 years. And now features many of the Great Britain team as well as being coached by national team coach Paul Thompson.

The Blaze story though begins a short distance up the road with the Solihull Barons. The Barons were themselves a famous name in the 1980's and early 1990's but the race to professionalism and lack of a larger arena combined with some money issues left the Barons behind their counterparts in Sheffield and Nottingham. And so in 1996 the Barons where bought out and became the Solihull Blaze before in the year 2000 making the short move south to the new Skydome Arena in Coventry to become the Coventry Blaze.

Their move to the Skydome also saw the club maintain their place in the British National League and in 2003 with the formation of the new Elite League the Blaze made the jump to the top flight. In that first season in the top flight the side laid out their stall early beating eventual winners Sheffield 6-1 and the Manchester Phoenix 11-0 before finishing third in the league.

The following season the Blaze had there most successful season ever winning not only the Challenge Cup for their first ever piece of silverware but added the league title and the playoff trophy for grand slam.

The Blaze went on to win 3 more titles in the next 4 seasons adding a Challenge Cup victory in 2007 as well as a Knockout Cup win in 2008.

In all the Blaze are the most successful club in the Elite League but have so far this season hit some finaincial problems. As of now the future of the Blaze is unclear beyond this season but their raise to become a powerhouse of the game in Great Britain can only benefit the club going forward.


British National League Champions
British National League Play Off Champions
ñ2004–05, 2006–07, 2007–08, 2009–10
ñ2004–05, 2006–07
Elite Ice Hockey League Charity Shield Champions

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Neil Tucker

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