STEVE WARD & TIM HALL RE-SIGN WITH ACES
The Alaska Aces have re-signed veteran defenseman, Steve Ward and rookie forward Tim Hall for the 2012-2013 season, Head Coach Rob Murray announced on Thursday. Ward will enter his sixth professional season, and third in Alaska. Hall is set to enter his first full campaign at the pro level. The 2012-2013 Aces season begins on the road and the club will return home on Friday, October 19 at Sullivan Arena. Season ticket and sponsorship packages are currently available through the Aces office at 15th & Gambell. For more information, please call the Aces at 907.258.ACES or visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alaskaaceshockey.
Ward, 26, has helped anchor the Aces to having the top defensive unit in the ECHL in each of the last two seasons. In that time, he has played in 131 regular season games and 23 postseason games for Alaska. The 6’0”, 195 lbs. two-way defenseman has totaled 48 points (10g, 38a) in the regular season and 9 points (3g, 6a) in the playoffs. Last season Ward was the third highest scoring defenseman with 25 points (5g, 20a) in 62 games. He also finished third on the team with a +14 rating. The Scarborough, Ontario native first arrived in Alaska after being acquired from Greenville in the first week of the 2010-2011 regular season. He finished the year with 23 points (5g, 18a) in 69 games and helped lead the Aces to a Kelly Cup Championship.
Ward becomes the first veteran to sign with the Aces this season. The ECHL allows a maximum of four veterans per team - defined as players who have played 260 or more professional regular season games prior to the start of the 2012-2013 season. Ward has totaled 339 games in his career, including 291 in the ECHL and 48 in the American Hockey League. Murray said bringing Ward back was a big off-season priority.
“What you want out of your veterans is consistency and leadership,” Murray said. “Steve is a guy who is as consistent as they come on the back end. Every night he can be counted on to be a reliable defenseman at both ends of the ice. He’s a guy who leads by example with his play. We’ve had some of our more experienced guys retire this year, so having Steve in our lineup as a veteran presence and a multi-year member of the Aces will be big for this team.”
Prior to turning pro, Ward played his junior hockey in the OHL with the Sarnia Sting and Plymouth Whalers. In 2007 he helped lead the Whalers to the OHL Championship, and a berth in the Memorial Cup tournament.
Hall, 22, will enter his first full pro season after joining the Aces as an amateur last year. Just a week after his collegiate career at Colorado College ended, Hall made his pro debut in mid-March. He finished the year, playing in eight games and registering a pair of assists. He also played in five postseason games for Alaska. Hall was used primarily as a defensive forward at CC. The 5’8”, 175 lbs. native of Sewickley, PA finished with 40 points (16g, 24a) in 135 college games. Last season as a senior, Hall had five goals and three assists in 34 games. Four of his five goals came in the final 12 games of the year. Hall was a mathematical economics major who twice was named to the WCHA All-Academic team. His best offensive production came as a sophomore when Hall had 18 points (5g, 13a) in 38 games and was given the team’s Most Improved Player Award.
“Tim was a kid who came in late last season and really brought a great work ethic and tenacity to our team,” Murray said. “He cracked the lineup of a first place team adjusted nicely to the pro game. He has the potential to quickly develop into a solid player in this league.”
Prior to joining Colorado College, Hall spent two seasons with the Ohio Junior Blue Jackets of the USHL, where he put up strong numbers. He combined for 75 points (35g, 40a) in 113 games. In his first season, his 31 points led the club, while he finished second in team scoring with 44 points (18g, 26a) in 57 games.
The Aces 2012-2013 season begins on the road and the club will return home on Friday, October 19 at Sullivan Arena. Season ticket and sponsorship packages are currently available through the Aces office at 15th & Gambell. For more information, please call the Aces at 907.258.ACES or visit them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/alaskaaceshockey.