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Kirbys see both sides of the puck

It’s not the first time John has looked up to his older brother. When Tim was in high school, John remembers coming to Riverside Arena to watch Tim play.

But mostly, he remembers his freshman season with the Packers, when he got to play with both of his older brothers, Tim and Dan. There were a few games where the three Kirby’s played on the same line together.

“Tim would play center and me and Dan would be at forward. That was a lot of fun,” John said.

Tim also remembers that year fondly.

“We always checked each others’ stats and followed each other and we still kind of do that today, but it was fun to play with each other instead of competing against each other,” Tim said. “How many people can say they played high school hockey with their two brothers?”

 

Hoping for a big run

Going to Air Force wasn’t the easiest transition for Tim to make. After a couple of years away from school, he had to get back in the habit of taking classes and had to adjust to the strict schedule that Air Force has.

“Your life has to change or you won’t survive,” Tim said. “I’ve had to buckle down on my studies and you’ve got to live by their rules. I’ve had to adapt to be what they want.”

When Tim finishes this school year, he’ll have a five-year commitment to Air Force. He already knows that he’ll be working at a missile silo in North Dakota, Wyoming or Montana.

“That was one of the main reasons I came here,” Tim said. “The economy’s bad and having a job after school was a big reason.”

Tim isn’t done with hockey yet and he hopes his Falcons can put together a big run this winter.

“We want to get to the NCAA tourney and we have the talent to do that,” he said. “Getting to the Frozen Four in Tampa would top anything I’ve ever done, but we’ve got to win the conference and get to the tournament first.”

No matter what Tim and the Falcons do the rest of the season, he’s won the respect of his younger brother. Candidates for the Hobey Baker award are supposed to exhibit strength of character on and off the ice; they must contribute to the integrity of the team and display outstanding skills and they should have scholastic achievement and sportsmanship.

“He matches all of the qualities for the award and it’s an honor to be his brother,” John said. “Just for him to be nominated amongst the top 77 players in the nation is amazing. A lot of the winners of that award are playing in the NHL right now.”