Chris Peterson Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
Ever since Todd Roe was a young boy, he has been out on the ice, playing hockey. He has played hockey for 13 years now, but never in his wildest dreams did he think that his love for the game would get him on a plane to Switzerland. But this past summer, that is exactly where it got him, as Roe was selected to be on the United States Juniors Development Program Selects team, which went to Switzerland to compete in a tournament against a number of top junior teams from throughout the country. Roe never expected to be picked, because for all intensive purposes, he didn’t even know about the team until he got to a three-week hockey camp in Colorado in mid-August. “I just kind of found out about the team while I was at the camp and I decided to e-mail the coaches and sign up to tryout for the team,” Roe said. “But I didn’t really think I had a very good chance to actually get picked.” However, the coaches saw something in Roe. It wasn’t his blazing speed on the ice or his ability to handle the puck, score a goal or even his aggressive style of play. No, what made Roe stand out to the coaches was his strong work ethic and the way he hustled every second he was one the ice. “I was pretty surprised when they picked me to be on the team,” Roe exclaimed. “They didn’t really give me a reason why I made it or anything, other than my work ethic. The coaches said I worked as hard as anybody else and that is probably how I got on the team.” Once he made the team, Roe began to prepare for a trip to play the game he loves, in a strange place, with strange people. Two USJDP select teams went, one in the 14-17 age group, which was the team that Roe played on, and another that featured just 18-year-old kids. Once the team arrived in Switzerland things didn’t slow down one bit. The team got in one exhibition game before jumping right into tournament action with pool play. There were eight teams in the tournament, with all eight teams separated into two pools of four for round-robin play before the singleelimination round began. Once the tournament actually got underway, it didn’t take long for Roe to make his mark. In the opening game, Roe notched an incredible six points, including a hat trick to go along with three assists. That first game was just a prelude to what turned out to be a very solid tournament for Roe, who scored five goals and also notched five assists to help his team to a respectable fifthplace finish out of eight teams. “It was hard for us a team to compete with the teams from Switzerland because they have been playing together so much longer,” he said. “We had kids from all over the United States. There were kids from New York, Texas, Colorado and all other states. I was the only kid from Montana on the team and we only had one day of practice before we played.” Roe is a tremendous all-around athlete, who is a three-sport athlete at home here in Havre. He has played varsity football the past two seasons as a defensive back, wide receiver and kicker. Last season Roe earned Academic All-state and was named second team all-conference kicker on a team that won the Central A conference championship. Roe has also enjoyed success for the Havre High tennis team, with his best moments coming last season when he won a Central A divisional title and came in second at state in doubles, while paired with Billy Wagner. Roe’s was also awarded first team all-state honors for his following a stellar junior season. Roe has also been playing for the Havre Ice Hawks hockey team for the past 13 years, and before he is done, he is hopeful that he can help the team bring home another state championship. But for everything Roe has accomplished in his young athletic career, nothing could possibly mean more than what he did this past summer. A small town kid, proving that he can play hockey on not only a national level, but on an international stage. Unfortunately, Roe has not received a lot interest from college or pro hockey teams yet, but that could always change because if he learned nothing else on his trip to Switzerland, he should have learned that no matter how big the odds are against him, he will always have a chance to realize his dreams because he worked too hard and has too much determination to go away without a fight.