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Team and League History

September ??, 1999
      Southern Elite Hockey League logo
Barry Soskin announces he will own the Pelham Prowlers, the newest entry in the Southern Elite Hockey League.

The SEHL, sanctioned by the Amateur Athletic Union, is a semi-pro hockey league (Junior-A) with six teams from Alabama and Florida. The Pelham Prowlers are the only team from Alabama. The Daytona Riptide, Jacksonville Hammerheads, Orlando Fury, Space Coast Blast, and Tampa Bay Ice Pirates are all located in Florida.

The SEHL is beginning its second season of play. However, the 1998-99 season was considered a 'market test'. The Space Coast Blast won the inaugural SEHL championship in 1998-99. The Alabama Gunners was a participant but the team folded before the season completed.

Last year, the SEHL sent many players to the East Coast Hockey League to fill emergency needs. The SEHL and the ECHL are trying to arrange a more formal affiliation this season. Also, the Western Professional Hockey League will call up players for emergency situations as well as sending players down for further development.

There are plans to expand to nine teams for the 2000-01 season. Their goal is to cover seven southeastern states and the markets of five National Hockey League teams.

  Head coach
Lou Franceschetti
Soskin has an extensive hockey background. He has owned the Toledo Storm of the East Coast Hockey League, the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League, and the Nashville Nighthawks of the Central Hockey League.

The Prowlers are set to hold tryouts for determining the 20 players they'll sign for their first year.

September ??, 1999
Lou Franceschetti is named head coach of the Prowlers.

Franceschetti's only coaching experience was as head coach of the Colonial Hockey League's Detroit Falcons in 1993-94.

September 1999
  Southern Elite Hockey League
   Daytona Riptide/Daytona Pacers
   Jacksonville Hammerheads 
   Orlando Fury
   Pelham Prowlers
   Space Coast Blast
   Tampa Bay Ice Pirates
  xxx   xxx   xxx   xxx  
   Jacksonville Hammerheads logo    Orlando Fury logo    Pelham Prowlers logo   Space Coast Blast logo
Daytona Riptide   Jacksonville Hammerheads   Orlando Fury   Pelham Prowlers
  Space Coast Blast
Daytona Pacers logo            
Tampa Bay Ice Pirates   Daytona Pacers            
October 16, 1999
  Owner Barry Soskin
The Daytona Riptide change their name to the Daytona Pacers.

November 10, 1999
The Tampa Bay Ice Pirates suspend operations.

March 25, 2000
The Prowlers win the Southern Elite Hockey League championship, sweeping the Space Coast Blast in three games.

September 13, 2000
Ronald Cocquyt, commissioner of the Southern Elite Hockey League, announces the league and the Pelham Prowlers have suspended operations.

However, Cocquyt said the league has plans to resume operations for the 2001-02 season.

No reason was given for the suspension or whether the Prowlers would be part of the league in 2001-02.

The Southern Elite Hockey League, nor the Pelham Prowlers, returned in 2000-01.

Contact Gene Crowley
Last update: June 03, 2019