By Michael Hicks
Tyler Carron was disappointed that he didn’t make the U.S. national sled hockey team like his fellow former Berthoud teammate Nikko Landeros. But Carron got the next best thing.
He was chosen for the junior national team, formerly the Under-20 squad, as one of eight forwards on the 15-player roster for head coach Bob O’Connor. He is one of 14 returning members from last year’s squad. The only newcomer is Tyler Anderson of Jenison, Mich.
While Carron made the junior team, he noted his inexperience as a key factor as why he didn’t make the top squad.
“I guess there is (some disappointment). I guess I kind of was prepared for it,” Carron said of not making the national team. “They are a lot of better team. I’m new at hockey. I need to learn the sport. That’s what the coaches told me, too.”
Carron and Landeros ventured to Rochester, N.Y., for the national team tryouts last month. The camp was pretty much for the under-20 team, according to Carron. Those who didn’t make the national team were told they’d likely make the U-20 squad, which Carron did.
According to a press release from USA Hockey, the junior squad is designed to hone the skills of America’s top young sled hockey players as they work toward making it on the national team. Besides taking part in developmental camps, the U.S. national junior team will play in the Western Sled Hockey League, which is comprised of four teams including clubs from Colorado, Arizona and Utah. The teams will meet four times during the season.
“This is a new goal for us,” said the 6-foot, 130-pound Carron, who at 20 years old is the oldest player on the roster. The Colorado Avalanche Sled Hockey player is the only Colorado native on the team.
The Under-20 team will head back to New York for a training camp Aug. 20-23, but, unlike Landeros, Carron isn’t planning on relocating to the East Coast.
According to Carron, the team is scheduled for three tournaments, starting in October in Denver. The U-20 squad will play in Sacramento, Calif., in December and Phoenix in January.