Club Sports

Trevor Peterson makes a smooth transition from roller hockey to ice hockey

When you ask an ice hockey player where he learned to play, the answer is rarely Nipomo, Calif.

The reason?

There’s no place to play.

Many ice hockey hopefuls had to head to other cities like Bakersfield or Oxnard, both two hours away.

But senior Trevor Peterson — now a goaltender for the Oregon club ice hockey team — didn’t start on ice skates. He began on roller blades.

“I wore my mom’s roller skates and since the neighbors played hockey, (me and my brother) borrowed some of our neighbor’s equipment and started playing in the driveway,” Peterson said.

After Peterson’s dad caught wind of his son’s interest in hockey, the driveway fun soon turned into something a little more tangible: He started playing roller hockey.

Peterson kept playing until around his senior year of high school when all of his teammates on his roller team graduated. It wasn’t until he was 19 and attending Allan Hancock College that he started playing drop-in ice hockey games.

Even though he was a frequent visitor of drop-in games and stick time at the rink, before this year, Peterson still had yet to play an actual game.

“Who was my first regulation ice team? The Oregon Ducks,” Peterson said. “I honestly never played in an official game until I played for this team.”

The transition wasn’t completely smooth. Despite the goaltender position being similar between roller and ice, Trevor found himself frustrated by the differences.

“In roller, wherever I move, I’m 100 percent in control,” Peterson said. “Whereas in ice, if I’m a little bit out of position and I go down, I’m subject to what my body is doing. On the floor I can shuffle. On here, you get moving one way, you go down and that’s it.”

Even though he was new to this level of play on ice, fellow Ducks hockey goalie Danny Cockriel said it wasn’t obvious.

“I would have guessed that he played a game for sure,” Cockriel said. “Side-to-side he wasn’t as fast, but he’s made a huge improvement since he started. He wasn’t that much slower than me as far as skating goes. He could handle the puck. His angles are always on and I would have never guessed that was his first ice hockey game. That’s pretty impressive. I couldn’t tell to be honest.”

There’s another person who isn’t surprised by his on-ice ability.

“We’d go up to Mammoth quite a bit and there’s an ice skating rink up there,” Trevor’s mom, Junell Peterson, said. “He always adapted quickly to the ice.”

“I think he’s a natural athlete, so things come easily for him,” she added.

Natural athlete or not, Peterson’s nearly-complete transition to an ice hockey goalie wasn’t done on natural talent alone.

“I can definitely tell that he’s working hard every time he steps onto the ice and he wants to get better,” Cockriel said. “I can see the determination too. He’s always out there working his butt off and skating as hard as he can.”

Follow Anne Yilmaz on Twitter @anneyilmaz

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