Flames release Wall, sign Ullberg

Guildford Flames have released netminder Stephen Wall and replaced him with former Finnish U20 international Richard Ullberg.

The 22-year-old stopper iced for Hermes and FPS in Suomi-sarja last season, after spending the bulk of 2013/14 with HCK in the Finnish Mestis League.

Ullberg’s first taste of the senior circuit came in 2011/2 in Finland’s top professional league when he played 23 Liiga games for SaiPa.

His international experience includes a pair of World Championship tournaments with Finland in 2012 and 2013.

Guildford boss Paul Dixon said: “This was an opening to bring in a goaltender with a very impressive pedigree.

“Richard has experience in one of the world’s elite pro ice hockey leagues, as well as an extensive resume in world class junior competition representing a country who are the current world junior champions.

“In our situation we had to choose between status quo or being proactive to see what we can do to get to where we need to be.

“We do not feel being idle at this time is our best option, and we have acted accordingly. We are looking forward to welcoming Richard into our plans for the rest of the season.

“Compared to the table top we are about 30 goals adrift in the goals against column. We need to improve that if we want to make a run at this in the back half of the season, and we have to be more consistent from one night to the next if we are going to make that happen.

“Despite how this move might look, we are not landing this all at the feet of one guy.

“It is not at all that simple in a team game, but adjustments have to be made where we have the chance to make what we hope is the most immediate and most meaningful impact, and there is not a single change we could make that has the impact potential that this does.

“Stephen has had a great career so far, and we have enjoyed his presence with the club. We extend him nothing but good wishes as he moves on.”

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