Tim Molle was a pioneer, an original member of the Anchorage Aces, a club team organized by current Dimond High School hockey head coach Dennis Sorenson.
“We were pretty tight back then and we had a lot of fun playing the game,” Molle recalled. “We didn’t get paid when we were senior men’s, but it was just fun to be around the guys and enjoy the notoriety from everybody in the city watching us play.”
Over time, the Aces became a staple of Anchorage’s rich hockey tradition.
“It’s been a part of this city for a long time,” said Molle, who played with the Anchorage Aces from 1990 to 1995. “It’s pretty much everything they said in the article, it brought the hockey community together, kids grew up watching it and it’s going to be sorely missed.”
The Aces bonded Molle and his son, Dustin, who played for the now Alaska Aces a few years ago. Dustin Molle said he’s just as shocked as his dad at the team going dark.
“It’s unfortunate because this is a hockey town and all,” said the younger Molle. “They got great history in the city. They’re definitely going to be missed.”
The Aces will be missed, but the memories created won’t fade.
“Pretty precious having both my kids play with them at some time, and being able to watch them, like Wallace’s dad gets to watch his kid right now, and Gomez and Dubinsky and a lot of the other players,” Tim Molle said.
There have been many precious moments on the Anchorage ice over the years. The reason these moments came to be was simple.
“It was just a lot of fun, playing in front of your hometown and all your friends and family,” said Dustin Molle, who won the Kelly Cup with the Aces in 2014.
The Molles are a family intertwined with the Aces, and feel like many fans who consider the players and organization like family, approachable and kind, leaving many in the community heartbroken.
“There’s definitely a niche for it,” Tim Molle said. “I believe it can come back, if the economy comes back, maybe they can get a team here. They got to fill the void somehow.”
With the organization going dark after this season, and a bleak economic forecast for Alaska, hope remains that hockey will come back at a high level in a state which loves its hockey, but soon two generations of Molles will have only memories.