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Front row, left to right: Kate Backhaus, Annie Loken and Mackenzie Fitch. Back row, left to right: Assistant Coach Nick Booker, William Werner, Chris Lipscomb, Maxson Dickerson, Collin Mullins, Aiden McMahon, Mason Booker and Head Coach Brian Fitch.

The Tehachapi Mountain Roller Hockey Falcons took its five teams to compete in San Luis Obispo on July 14 and 15 for their first tournament of the summer series.

First up on Saturday was the 6U division and while the Falcons lost both games, everyone played hard and had great attitudes, especially Lilly Backhaus (game 1) and Austin Sanders (game 2), who played in the goalie position for the first time ever. Also, good job to Calla Turk, Sage Turk and Evaleen Werner competing in their first tournament ever. Tehachapi also had an opportunity to show off in a skills competition with Captain Kayla Eaton winning Fastest Skater and Sanders taking home the Sharp Shooter award.

The 8U Falcons had four hard-fought battles in a competitive 8U division. Missing several key players from their starting lineup, they had their work cut out for them. First time goaltender Peter Hegle stepped up big and had an amazing tournament, earning the nickname “Peter the Puck Eater.” Even with Hegle’s help Tehachapi was not able to find success in the first three games. However, in their final game Captain Hailey Fitch led her team to a 2-2 tie against North Hollywood, which went on to play in the championship match.

Finishing up on Saturday was the 10U division in which the Falcons faced four round robin games, winning twice against the San Luis/Calabasas team 3-2 and 2-1 getting a goal from Aiden McMahon, Mason Booker, Collin Mullins, and two from Mackenzie Fitch, and falling to North Hollywood twice 3-0.

The championship game set the stage for Tehachapi to face North Hollywood one more time. The extremely intense game ended regulation 0-0 and forced three minutes of sudden death overtime, which also concluded scoreless, resulting in going to a shoot-out. Each team selected three shooters where McMahon picked up his second goal of the tournament forcing a fourth shooter onto the rink. Goaltender and Alternate Captain Annie Loken came up huge for the Falcons, stopping the North Hollywood shooter and Fitch ended the game scoring for Tehachapi.

The older Falcons played on Sunday in the 12U and 14U divisions with many players doing double duty led by goalie Oliver Dean, who played in every game and made some brilliant saves. The 12U team competed well but eventually missed an opportunity to play in the championship game by losing from tie breaking statistics.

They were led by Captain Emma Torres and Alternate Captain Jayden Hitt. The older team put on a tough competition but was eventually eliminated. Alternate Captain Riley Scott put a blistering shot past the opposing goalie with just minutes remaining in the final game.

The TMRH Falcons will be back in action Aug. 11-12 in Calabasas.

Lisa Fitch is a team parent and TMRH secretary.