Aces: The tale of the red fez

Doyle Woody,

The Blog has done a couple postgame interviews of Alaska Aces recently where the interviewee wore a strange red hat.

Turns out that's the hat awarded to the team's player of the game after victories.

Alex Hudson got the honor Thursday night after he scored the first two goals of the game in a 5-1 win over the Bakersfield Condors, his former club.

The hat was one of many thrown on the ice when Aces winger Alexandre Imbeault racked a hat trick Feb. 10 against visiting Stockton. After a home-ice hat trick, the hats are collected and usually tossed on a table in the hallway outside the Aces' dressing room. Imbeault checked out the collection of lids after his hat trick and deemed the red one should be the hat awarded for the rest of the season. The nightly winner (if the Aces win, which they do often) usually wears it for a few minutes while he's taking off his gear, getting treatment in the training room, doing interviews, that kinda thing.

"It's such a nice hat I decided to keep it as the team hat,'' Imbeault said, managing not to laugh.

The Blog could not rub enough brain cells together to remember what the style of hat was called, so he asked Aces center Nick Mazzolini.

"You mean the red fez?'' Mazzolini said.

He was told he was very worldly.

"Very cultured,'' Mazz mused.

In any event, the hat -- think of it as something a Shriner might wear -- has a yellow-gold piece of string on the top. It is not what you would call stylish. The Blog wondered if that's the hat awarded to the best player, what kind of hat would go to the guy who had the worst game.

"No hat,'' Hudson said with a laugh. "You get to not play the next game.''

It is basically just a hat to wear around the dressing room, not a lid any of the boys would likely wear in public.

Although Imbeault begged to differ.

"I'm a Frenchman,'' he said with a grin. "I could pull it off.''


Doyle Woody,