The Vikings keep coming, and I’m sure no one is surprised.
Terry Hasselmann isn’t the biggest dude in derby. He’s not the biggest name and he’s not the first skater that people think of when you say “Mass Maelstrom”... but after this year, that may change.
What Hasselmann (or Peter Rottentail for those of you keeping track of the dual names) has is footwork. He has footwork, a surprising amount of short burst power and a ridiculous amount of time and experience on wheels. Previously a jamming workhorse, this year Rotti got to shine as a primer blocker for Maelstrom.
Trying to describe his blocking style in text is extremely difficult. It is sharp – it is a quick burst of momentum that redirects the opposing skater out or down before they know what has happened. He knows how to coil himself and strike at the precise moment of your weakness. Once the hit is landed, he’s behind the pack, you're bewildered, and the ref is calling you for a Cut Track.
His backwards blocking is just as effective as his positional. Which is why in most photos, he's not facing derby direction. It’s awesome to watch him catch jammers at the front of the pack and keep them busy until his buddies Jack or Smyte come up to finish them off. The walls of Maelstrom move as one unit, and Hasselmann is part of why the dynamic walls work so well. The face paint and pink socks may get your attention, but his stunt-like lateral motion and ability to stay glued to his rivals is what you’ll remember later.
PS His cameo as jammer at the Mohawk Valley Cup was pretty awesome. It was nice to see the spins and turns being used to score points, not just guard against them.
When you’re watching Mass Maelstrom this season, keep an eye out for #7; you can be sure that Rottentail has more tricks up his sleeve that you'll be seeing this season.
Want to get updates on ALL the all-star articles as they’re published? Hit the SUBSCRIBE button at the top of the page.