Roller hockey player heads to international play
by Bob Brownne
Aug 03, 2012 | 2141 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A little more than a year after he strapped on his skates, Tristan Telles of Tracy has gained a place in international roller hockey competition.

That makes St. Peters, Mo., near St. Louis, his next stop as he prepares to compete in “State Wars 8,” the championship tournament for United States Roller Hockey, Aug. 7 to 13. The event will draw teams from around the U.S. and Canada.

Tristan, 8, will play goalie for two teams, including the Northern California 10-and-under team and the 9-and-under team.

Tristan’s mother, Ana Telles, said that he made a good impression during an open tryout on April 1 at Silver Creek Sportsplex in San Jose, where players of all ages scrimmaged together.

From a group of nearly 70 players coaches had to select a maximum of eight players for each of five age groups.

“If they didn’t meet the level of competition they were looking for they didn’t make the team, and they were left to try to find more kids to fill the spots,” Ana Telles said. “For his age group, there were only six kids.”

Tristan built up his skill in a short time. He took up the sport in April 2011 when he joined the recreational league in Ripon.

“We went down to check out the league in Ripon,” Ana Telles said. “He had put on the skates one time before. We asked when it would start, and they said Friday. This was a Wednesday. He picked it up really quick.”

Teams are divided by year of birth. Tristan is on the 2003 team, but was also invited to join the 2002 team after coaches saw him block shots from players up to three years older than him as they tried out for the upper age group teams.

Aside from the Northern California team, Tristan plays for the Red Tails 10-and-under team, and the Savage 8-and-under team. Both are travel teams based at the Ripon Powerplay Sports Arena.

Both teams went to the North American Roller Hockey Championships (NARHC) July 13 to 16, also at Silver Creek Sportsplex in San Jose.

The high point for Tristan was the skills competition. In addition to games, organizers will have skaters and goalies in a shootout-style event.

In this case, 50 skaters alternated taking shots, and six goalies took turns defending the net.

Goalies were eliminated based on shots that got past them. Tristan was the last goalie standing to win the Atoms, 8U, competition, after he blocked 30 shots and allowed five past him.

“By the end of the competition he had an eight shot lead,” Ana Telles said. “It’s very different than game play. You have to be able to multitask and guess what that skater’s going to do. He’s pretty good at that one-on-one stuff.”

• Contact Bob Brownne at 830-4227 or brownne@tracypress.com.

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