Former Sailors continue hockey careers | SteamboatToday.com

Former Sailors continue hockey careers

Luke Graham

— Unequivocally, hockey was going to be part of T.J. Anderson and Jim Terry’s lives.

Although the former Steamboat Springs High School graduates – Anderson in 2008 and Terry in 2007 – took different paths to the Mesa State College hockey team, they’re excited they came upon the opportunity.

Anderson played club hockey in Moffat County last year and was looking for any opportunity to continue playing. After talking with Mavericks coach Kameron Dudek, Anderson found a spot on defense.

“There’s a lot of upperclassmen playing defense,” Anderson said. “It’s hard to fight for a position, but it’s still pretty awesome.”

Terry spent a year playing Junior A hockey last year in Montana. But not wanting to fall behind on his education, Terry decided on Mesa State because of its proximity to Steamboat. Finding out the school had a hockey program was just another benefit.

“Juniors (hockey) absolutely helped me out,” Terry said after a three-hour oceanography class on Thursday. “It’s not as competitive or fast-paced, but you still find that camaraderie that hockey has. You get to travel, and you get to go play.”

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Coach Dudek couldn’t be happier with the Steamboat pair.

The third-year coach has helped guide the Mavericks to a 9-5-2 record this season and third place in Division III’s Pacific Division.

A big part of that, Dudek said, has been the play of Anderson and Terry, who have played in every game this season.

“Jim brings in a lot of experience because he played in juniors,” Dudek said. “He’s got a hard shot and a real awareness for the game. T.J.’s tightened up our defensive zone, and he has a real passion for the game.”

Mesa State plays teams from across the state and has traveled to play teams in Utah and South Dakota.

Dudek said with the season almost half done and road trips to Iowa, South Dakota and Nebraska on the slate, he’s pleased with the way things have gone so far, thanks in large part to the contributions from Terry (nine goals, six assists) and Anderson (two assists).

“I think if it wasn’t for these guys and hockey in Northwest Colorado, we wouldn’t be where we are,” Dudek said. “They’ve both been great ambassadors for the sport.”