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SPHL approves Surge hockey team moving to Virginia

AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD 
 
 Mississippi Surge's Daryl Moor defends as Fayetteville FireAntz defender Corey Hessler brings the puck up the ice on Saturday, November 14 2009.
AMANDA McCOY/SUN HERALD Mississippi Surge's Daryl Moor defends as Fayetteville FireAntz defender Corey Hessler brings the puck up the ice on Saturday, November 14 2009. SUN HERALD

The hockey ownership group that brought the Mississippi Surge to South Mississippi has been granted approval to move to Virginia.

The Southern Professional Hockey League announced Tuesday that the Surge will move to Roanoke, Va., for the 2016-2017 season. Last week, Surge Ice, LLC, the majority ownership group, transferred its majority to Breakaway Sports and Entertainment, LLC, setting up Tuesday's announcement.

Bob McGinn and sons Jamie, Tye and Brock, are the majority owners for Breakaway Sports, along with Rob MacDougall.

Tuesday's moves are separate from a filing made last week by a Coast ownership group to bring a franchise back to South Mississippi for next season.

South Mississippi Hockey president Andy Makal announced last week that the ownership group is waiting approval from the SPHL to bring a team back to the Coast. The timetable for that move is expected in January.

The new franchise, if awarded, would be a new team with a new name. The rights to the Surge belong to the group now in Roanoke and the Sea Wolves name is still owned by the ECHL.

"We've made our application to the SPHL and it's a long process," Makal said last week. "We've done everything the SPHL has asked us to do. It's not a whole lot we can do until we hear back from them."

The Coast has been without pro hockey since the Mississippi Surge folded last spring after five years, mostly with the SPHL. The Mississippi Surge suspended operations following the end of the 2013-14 season.

The Sea Wolves played on the Coast from 1996 to 2009. The Sea Wolves played nine straight seasons in Biloxi, but were inactive from 2005-07 due to damages to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum by Hurricane Katrina. The Sea Wolves suspended operations in 2009.

- Sun Herald sports writer James Jones contributed to this report.

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