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Rail City Hockey Product
by Kayla Dubchansky
Aug 19, 2009 | 559 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Andrew Peterson has accepted a scholarship to play hockey at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter Minn. this winter.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Andrew Peterson has accepted a scholarship to play hockey at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter Minn. this winter.
Ice hockey and the Nevada desert don’t really seem to go hand in hand. But for 20-year-old Andrew Peterson of Sparks, it has never really mattered, even with no hockey rink in the area.

It matters so little in fact, that at the age of 14, Peterson left home to move to Minnesota to play hockey. However Peterson, who will be attending Gustavus Adolphous College in St. Peter, Minn., had a long and lonely road on his way to success.

“Not a lot of people do it, especially out here,” Peterson said. “For me to play hockey and be competitive is something special, especially coming from Reno.”

Peterson found the love of hockey when he was about 5 years old, and played at an old long-forgotten rink that used to be near Wild Island. He moved on to bigger and better things in the hockey community when he left for Minnesota, instead of attending public high school in Nevada.

“My dad played when he was younger and he got me and my brothers into it,” Peterson said.

Peterson’s family has its roots in hockey. His older brothers played while they were younger and his father played college hockey.

“He actually played at the same school I’m going to,” Peterson said.

His father graduated in 1968. Andrew is set to graduate in 2013.

“When I was in high school I was a freshman and I actually moved to Minnesota on my own and played on a team there,” Peterson said.

He went to Shattuck St. Mary’s Boarding School. The program boasts a prestigious program that is nationally recognized. The program plays hockey seven months out of the year and gets in 50-75 games. Pittsburgh Penguins All-Star Sidney Crosby attended Shattuck.

“It was very difficult,” Peterson said about living on his own as a high school freshman. “It’s (hockey) a big commitment.”

After a year, Peterson moved home and attended Spanish Springs High School for his sophomore and junior years where he commuted to Oakland every weekend to continue his dream.

“It would be every weekend too,” Peterson said of his time in Oakland with the California North Stars.

Peterson explained that this was the most accomplished season he’s had with his team, which is in the AAA Hockey Program. This past season, Peterson’s team won its league and went to Nationals in Boston.

After two years at SSHS, Peterson finished up high school by graduating from TMCC High School.

“It’s very hard to relate to people,” Peterson said. “Like my lifestyle, and obviously the sport I play, I can’t really talk to anyone about any specifics or anything.”

After graduating in 2007, Peterson dedicated the next two years to solely working on hockey in the hockey juniors program. He moved to British Columbia for a year and then spent another year in Minnesota, this time in St. Cloud, before being recruited to Gustavus.

Hockey differs from many other sports in that its juniors program helps to provide college and professional hockey teams with players.

“You get drafted out of juniors to either the pros or college,” Peterson said. “You’ve got to play a couple of years of juniors.”

He was scouted out of Minnesota’s juniors program for Gustavus.

While all this work has finally paid off, Peterson cannot say for certain that he will follow a path toward professional hockey.

“College was always the goal, the main goal was to get to college and get the scholarship,” Peterson said.” I’ve fulfilled that. Whatever happens, happens.”

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Rail City Hockey Product by Kayla Dubchansky

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