Alaska News

Aces timeline: 1989-2017

From their formation as the Anchorage Aces in late 1989 to their makeover as the Alaska Aces in 2003 to the announcement Thursday that this will be their final season, a timeline of notable developments through the years.

December 1989 — Dennis Sorenson, a former UAA hockey star, forms the Anchorage Aces, an amateur team made up of players who grew up in Anchorage or played for the UAA Seawolves. They play a four-game schedule.

1990-91 — Aces play their first full season, which ends with them winning the Senior Men's Open National Championship with Sorenson as their coach.

1995 — The Aces go pro and join the new West Coast Hockey League.

1996 — Mike Cusack Jr. buys out Roger Graff to become the team's sole owner.

June 2002 — With the team facing a $2 million debt, Cusack lists the Aces on eBay for a minimum bid of $1.5 million.

July 2002 — A seven-man ownership group — Terry Parks, Dan Coffey, Jeff Van Abel, Steve Adams, Al Haynes, Rod Udd and Steve Agni — buy the Aces in bankruptcy court for about $1 million.


May 2003 — The Aces announce a makeover. They change their name to the Alaska Aces and hire Davis Payne to lead them into their first season in the ECHL, which absorbs the West Coast Hockey League.

[Loyal Aces fans wonder how they'll fill void left by team's demise]

2004-05 — NHL all-star Scott Gomez of Anchorage joins the Aces during the NHL's lockout season and wins the ECHL's MVP award.

2006 — The Aces win the Kelly Cup as champions of the ECHL.

May 2007 — Payne resigns as coach and is replaced by player/coach Keith McCambridge.

July 2009 — McCambridge resigns as coach; Brent Thompson is hired.

2010-11 through 2013-14 — Aces win four straight Brabham Cup titles as the regular-season champions of the ECHL.

2011 — Aces win their second Kelly Cup.

June and July, 2011 — Thompson resigns as coach; Rob Murray is hired.

2014 — Aces win their third Kelly Cup

2016 — Aces fail to make the playoffs for the second straight season.

February 2017 — The ownership group of Parks, Coffey, Adams, Haynes and Jerry Mackie announce the Aces will fold at the end of the season for financial reasons.