The Kitmart Dundee Stars are preparing to head into their 20th season and to celebrate this landmark campaign, we will be posting some articles each week that look back at every past season and catch up with some former players and coaches.

By Kris Smith

So, we will start at the beginning and the club’s first ever season was back in 2001-2002 and it was also our best season to date as the team won the British National League and the playoffs.

The BNL was the second-tier of British Ice Hockey and operated from 1954 to 1960 and from 1997 to 2005 and when the Stars joined for the 2001 campaign, they won the league with 80 points after winning 40 of their 44 league games.

Dundee finished 12 points clear of runners-up, Coventry Blaze and 17 ahead of their main rivals, Fife Flyers.

Other teams in the league that season included, Edinburgh Capitals and Paisley Pirates from Scotland, along with fellow newcomers, Cardiff Devils.

The rest of the 12-team league was made up with clubs from England and they were; Guildford Flames, Slough Jets, Basingstoke Bison, Hull Thunder, Milton Keynes Kings and Peterborough Pirates.

The team was led by player-coach, Tony Hand and he had two assistant coaches in Roger Hunt and Colin Wilson.

Dundee-born netminder, Stephen Murphy was in between the pipes for most of the season and he was backed-up by his fellow Scot, Stewart Rugg.

Iconic names in Stars history such as Scott Young, Jan Mikel, Gary Dowd and Dominic Hopkins defended the blue line that season and going forward the team was packed full of skill and clinical finishers.

Names such as Hand, Paul Berrington, Patric Lochi, Martin Wiita and Teeder Wynne were on the game sheet and usually the scoresheet every night.

Back then, the playoffs started off with a short group stage where the top eight teams were split into two groups and played each team in their group home and away.

The Stars had Guildford, Basingstoke and Milton Keynes in their section and won all six games.

A total of 24 goals were scored and only five were conceded by Dundee against all of their Group 1 opponents and in the Semi-Finals, they met the Flyers for a two-legged Tayside Derby.

Hand and his men won the two matches by comfortable scores of 5-2 and 5-1 and that set them up for a battle with the Blaze in the final.

Again, it was a two-legged affair and the first leg went to the Stars after a 7-4 road victory but they did just enough to win the title after slipping to a 3-1 loss at home in game two, giving them the 8-7 win on aggregate.

Next we will be bringing you a look back at one Star Player from the 2001-2002 season and that will be released Wednesday at 12pm!

If you want to be a part of the historic 20th Dundee Stars season then you can buy your season tickets by contacting [email protected]

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