Manchester Storm (1995–2002)

The Manchester Storm were an ice hockey team from Manchester, England. The team formed in 1995, playing their home games at the then newly built NYNEX Arena, but they folded during the 2002–03 season.

Manchester Storm
LogoManchesterStorm.png
CityManchester, England
LeagueIce Hockey Superleague
Founded1995
Home arenaManchester Evening News Arena
ColoursWhite, Purple & Black      
Franchise history
1995–2002Manchester Storm

Early successEdit

 
Manchester Storm's away jersey from the inaugural 1995–96 season.

Storm won the British Hockey League Division One in their first season,[1] watched by an average crowd of 6,342.[citation needed] Success in the end of season promotion/relegation play-offs followed, resulting in Storm being promoted to the Premier Division of the British Hockey League. However, Britain's league structure was changed in 1996, with the formation of the Ice Hockey Superleague, of which the Manchester team were a founder member. This was alongside Ayr Scottish Eagles, Basingstoke Bison, Bracknell Bees, Cardiff Devils, Newcastle Riverkings, Nottingham Panthers and Sheffield Steelers. The highs of the inaugural season weren't matched in season 2 though, and Storm finished a disappointing seventh in the league. This led to the sacking of coach John Lawless.[2]

American Kurt Kleinendorst was brought in for the 1997–98 season and he completely changed the face of the playing staff. There were 12 new faces on the 19 strong roster when the season started and they went on to make history for a British club in the European Hockey League. As well as holding Dynamo Moscow to a regulation time draw (losing 2–3 in overtime), they beat Sparta Prague home and away — winning 7–0 at home and 4–3 in the Czech capital.

Storm hold the record for the largest ice hockey attendance at a UK league game, set on 23 February 1997, when 17,245 people watched a match against Sheffield Steelers.[3] At the time, this was also a European record.[4] The record for the largest attendance at any ice hockey game in the UK is 17,551 at The O2 arena (London) on 30 September 2007 for a NHL game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks.[5]

The end of an eraEdit

Manchester Storm folded in 2002 during the 2002–03 season when the costs of running the team out of the Manchester Arena, and at the top level of British hockey, could not be supported by ticket revenue and sponsorship. The then owners SMG who also ran the arena sold the team to Manchester businessman in full knowledge they did not want ice hockey in the arena then following Sky TVs pulling out of its contract to show live games this meant sponsors pulled out, with no live games and no sponsors and an Arena who didn't want ice hockey in the building owner Gary Cowan had no option other than to put the team into receivership. Later on during the same season Ayr Scottish Eagles also folded.

A supporters group was formed following the collapse of Manchester Storm and launched a new team called the Manchester Phoenix the following season.

Return of the StormEdit

In June 2015, following the departure of the Manchester Phoenix from the Altrincham Ice Dome due to a dispute with the current owners, it was announced a new team would be based at the rink using the Manchester Storm name.[6] The newly formed Storm would replace the folded Hull Stingrays in the EIHL from the start of the 2015–16 season.

Past managers/head coachesEdit

HonoursEdit

Two Team PlayersEdit

Players who have featured for both the Manchester Phoenix and the Manchester Storm in league fixtures;

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ "1995-96 British Hockey League". The Internet Hockey Database. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
  2. ^ "John Lawless' British Ice Hockey Hall of Fame entry". Ice Hockey Journalists UK. Archived from the original on 15 May 2008. Retrieved 27 November 2007.
  3. ^ Ducker, James (27 October 2002). "End of an era?". Manchester Evening News. Archived from the original on 19 September 2012. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
  4. ^ "It's a fact!!!". Ice Hockey Journalists UK. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
  5. ^ Woloszyn, Paul (29 September 2007). "Kings beat Ducks in London opener". BBC Sport Online. Retrieved 14 December 2007.
  6. ^ "STORM JOIN THE EIHL". Elite Ice Hockey League. 24 June 2015. Archived from the original on 29 June 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.

External linksEdit

Preceded by Superleague Champions
1998-99
Succeeded by
Preceded by Autumn Cup Winners
1999-00
Succeeded by