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Tupelo T-Rex
Tupelo t rex 1999
City: Tupelo, Mississippi
League: WPHL (1998-2001)
AWHL (2001-2003)
Division: Southeast Division
Founded: 1998
Home Arena: BancorpSouth Arena
Colors: green, white, yellow, purple

                   

Owner(s): Monty Fletcher
Head Coach: Peter Esdale, Brad Gratton
Media: Juliana Nykolaiszyn
Franchise history
1998 to 2001: Tupelo T-Rex (WPHL)
2001 to 2003: Tupelo T-Rex AWHL

The Tupelo T-Rex was a professional ice hockey team, a member of the Western Professional Hockey League (WPHL) and played their home games at BancorpSouth Center from 1998 through 2001. In 2001, following the team's recent run to the WPHL finals, The Western Pro Hockey League joined the Central Hockey League and the T-Rex folded.

Issues with Tupelo, CHL, and SEHLEdit

After the 2000-01 season, Tupelo was invited to be a part of the WPHL-Central Hockey League merger. It would have set up a local rivalry with current CHL member Memphis Riverkings. However, the T-Rex ownership refused and decided not to join the merger. Their attempts to join two other pro leagues backfired when the CHL invoked a non-compete clause, claiming the territorial rights to Tupelo as part of the merger. With no other options, Tupelo folded as a pro franchise and became a juniors team.

Several attempts to re-start the franchise, most notably as a team in the South East Hockey League failed, as it turned out that, despite not fielding a team, the Central Hockey League had a 5 year non-compete clause with the BancorpSouth Center. Thus, no professional hockey team could enter the venue in Tupelo. In addition to problems surrounding the facility's legal issues with the team, the T-Rex had attempted membership with the Atlantic Coast Hockey League and attempted the move to the SEHL, but were barred from this move due to the non-compete clause the CHL held over the arena.

Professional Team Year by YearEdit

Season GP W L T OL SL GF GA Pts PIM Regular Season Finish Playoffs
Western Professional Hockey League
1998-99 69 20 45 0 0 4 195 316 44 15596th Eastern Did not qualify
1999-00 70 31 28 0 0 11 241 281 73 18515th Eastern Lost in first round
2000-01 71 46 20 0 0 5 287 208 97 2196 1st EasternLost Semifinals

Shift to Junior HockeyEdit

The legal issues the team faced from its efforts to merge to either the SEHL or CHL blocked occupied too much time for the team to recover. Since then, the only ice hockey to have come back to the BancorpSouth Arena has been the Mississippi State University Men's DIII club team. The organization would form a junior level team by the same name that would play in the America West Hockey League for the 2001-02 and 2002-03 seasons until they wold fold.

Junior Team Year by YearEdit

Season GP W L T OL SL GF GA Pts PIM Regular Season Finish Playoffs
America West Hockey League
2001-02 56 2 54 0 0 0 98 489 4 18109th Did not qualify
2002-03 56 2 53 0 0 1 80 361 5 2030 4th South
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