Cal Petersen, drafted in the 5th round (129th overall) in the 2013 draft by the Sabres was just named captain of the Notre Dame hockey team. It’s the first time in the illustrious Notre Dame hockey history that a goaltender will serve as the captain of the team.
In two seasons at Notre Dame, Petersen has made tremendous strides. Last year, as a sophomore, he started all 37 NCAA games, with a record of 19-11-7, a .927 save percentage and 2.20 goals against average. He finished first in the nation in percentage of team minutes played and finished in the top three in the highly competitive Hockey East Conference in both save percentage and goals against average.
He was named the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week three times. He also earned Hockey East Goaltender of the Month honors for January. His most notable performance was an 87-save effort in a five-overtime loss to Massachusetts as a freshman.
“I made very good strides individually, being able to be a guy that’s relied upon every night. That was a goal of mine.” – Cal Petersen
The 6’2”, 195 pound Fighting Irish goalie is a strong skater with good mobility around the crease. He models his game after Montreal netminder Carey Price.
For the upcoming year, Petersen has set statistical goals for himself, but the big thing is team success.
“We need to get a championship to Notre Dame, whether that’s in Hockey East or a National Championship. That’s obviously our big end goal.”
— Notre Dame Hockey (@NDHockey) August 31, 2016
Sabres GM Tim Murray has yet to sign Petersen to an entry level contract, but with another successful season in South Bend, it’ll be likely.
Robin Lehner, will be a restricted free agent at the end of this season. With a solid season, he’ll likely be rewarded with another deal. But if the oft-injured, laser-eyed goalie has another off year or misses much of the season with injuries, expect the goaltender shuffle to commence.
Either way, don’t be surprised to see Petersen compete with Swede Linus Ullmark for the starting job in Buffalo in the coming years.