UIC Flames men's ice hockey

The UIC Flames men's ice hockey was an NCAA Division I ice hockey team that played in the CCHA for most of their 15-year tenure.

UIC Flames men's ice hockey
UniversityUniversity of Illinois at Chicago
Head coachN/A
ArenaUIC Pavilion
Capacity: 6,958
LocationChicago, Illinois
ColorsNavy Blue and Fire Engine Red[1]


Illinois–Chicago began sponsoring men's ice hockey in 1966 and stayed with the lesser-classified teams when the NCAA created the tier system in the 1970s.[2] After fifteen years in the second tier the Flames jumped to Division I, playing as an independent for one season before joining the CCHA for the 1982–83 season.[3] With their new coach Val Belmonte[4] the team had difficulty competing in a major conference in the early years, finishing dead last in the CCHA their first two seasons. By 1984–85 the Flames had climbed into the middle of the conference standings aided by top 10 scorer (and future NHLer) Ray Staszak, and their all-time leading defenseman Darin Banister.[5] Two years later the Flames produced their first winning season, going 21–17–1 and winning their first postseason game (though they still couldn't get out of the conference quarterfinals). UIC finally managed to get into the CCHA semifinals in 1989 but after a dreadful season the following year Belmonte was out as coach.[6]

Larry Pedrie was brought in as the head coach[7] and while the Flames saw a slight improvement in his first season UIC would remain a bottom-feeder for the duration of his tenure. The Flames had a sub-.400 record every season over the next six years and, though they would make the CCHA tournament every year from 1991 through '95, they went 1–10 in tournament play, never making it out of the opening round. When the 1995–96 season rolled around the Flames were seven years removed from a winning season and virtually irrelevant in college hockey circles. More importantly the program had lost the university around $600,000 the year before and UIC did not have another major program to balance out the books.[8] With the administration believing basketball to be a better investment the ice hockey program was discontinued after the season.

UIC Hockey was broadcast from 1983-84 through the final season of 1995-96 with Les Grobstein handing play by play. Chris Madsen and John Kelley filled in when Grobstein had a conflict with UIC Basketball.

The Flames would return to the ice in 2004 as a club team but as of 2017 the Chicago-area and the entire state of Illinois has been left without a Division I program since the flames went belly-up.[9]

Season-by-season records[10]

Season Conference Record Pct. Position Conference
1966–67NCAA1–6–0.143John Kantarski
1967–68NCAA12–5–0.706John Kantarski
1968–69NCAA12–4–0.750John Kantarski
1969–70NCAA11–6–0.647John Kantarski
1970–71NCAA10–12–1.457John Kantarski
1971–72NCAA9–7–0.563John Kantarski
1972–73NCAA11–11–0.500John Kantarski
1973–74NCAA17–5–2.750John Kantarski
1974–75NCAA12–10–0.545John Kantarski
1975–76NCAA17–11–1.603John Kantarski
1976–77NCAA14–12–0.538John Kantarski
1977–78NCAA14–10–0.583John Kantarski
1978–79NCAA17–12–1.583John Kantarski
1979–80NCAA14–13–0.519John Kantarski
1980–81NCAA9–17–0.346John Kantarski
1981–82Independent7–24–0.226John Kantarski
1982–83CCHA6–28–2.19412thVal Belmonte
1983–84CCHA5–29–1.15711thVal Belmonte
1984–85CCHA17–23–0.4255tht-5thVal Belmonte
1985–86CCHA14–25–1.3637tht-5thVal Belmonte
1986–87CCHA21–17–1.5514tht-5thVal Belmonte
1987–88CCHA18–20–1.4746tht-5thVal Belmonte
1988–89CCHA23–14–5.6073rd4thVal Belmonte
1989–90CCHA10–27–1.2769thVal Belmonte
1990–91CCHA13–23–2.3688tht-5thLarry Pedrie
1991–92CCHA10–20–6.3617tht-5thLarry Pedrie
1992–93CCHA10–25–2.2979tht-7thLarry Pedrie
1993–94CCHA11–26–2.3089tht-7thLarry Pedrie
1994–95CCHA11–22–4.3518tht-6thLarry Pedrie
1995–96CCHA9–24–3.29211thLarry Pedrie
30 Seasons 365–488–36 .431 3 coaches

All-time coaching records

Tenure Coach Years Record Pct.
1966–1982John Kantarski16187–165–5.531
1982–1990Val Belmonte8114–183–12.388
1990–1996Larry Pedrie664–140–19.330
Totals 3 coaches 30 seasons 365–488–36 .431

Notable players


  1. UIC Branding Guidelines (PDF). Retrieved October 29, 2017.
  2. "Hockey returns to UIC as student-organized club". UIC News. 2004-04-21. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  3. "2012–13 CCHA Media Guide". CCHA. Retrieved 2014-06-29.
  4. "Val Belmonte Year-by-Year Coaching Record". USCHO.com. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  5. http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/display_players.php?tmi=8624
  6. "Belmonte quits UIC hockey job". Chicago Sun Times. 1990-04-12. Archived from the original on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  7. "Larry Pedrie Year-by-Year Coaching Record". USCHO.com. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  8. "Hockey Appears Finished At Uic". Chicago Tribune. 1996-03-26. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  9. "Despite surge in talent, Illinois lacking college hockey". Chicago Tribune. 2014-10-04. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  10. "John Kantarski Year-by-Year Coaching Record". USCHO.com. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
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