"C" stands for Cal in South Bend

Notre Dame junior and top Buffalo Sabres goaltending prospect Cal Petersen will wear the captain's "C" this season for the Fighting Irish. 

Per the Notre Dame website, it is believed to be the first time in program history that a goaltender has been named the team captain. It is also the first time in memory that a Sabres goaltending prospect has worn any sort of letter.

A native of Iowa and product of his hometown Waterloo Black Hawks, Petersen started all 37 games last season for the Fighting Irish, posting a 19-11-7 record, 2.20 GAA and sparkling .927 save%. The 37 starts actually extended his streak to an even 50 consecutive going back to the end of 2014-15. 

Petersen's third collegiate year will again see him carry a heavy workload as a talented Notre Dame squad, which includes fellow junior and Sabres prospect Connor Hurley, looks to win their first-ever Hockey East title. The Fighting Irish last won a league championship in 2008-09 when they were members of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association.

From April's prospect rankings:

A big area of Petersen's improvement that has led to success has been exhibiting the mental focus of a winner. Petersen is ultra-competitive and has learned to reset when he lets a shot past him. Continuing to properly channel that fire will only help him when he hits the pro ranks.

As it stands today, Petersen finds himself in the ideal position for a developing netminder as he's playing virtually every game for Notre Dame. Petersen needs to be the man in Hockey East before his time is done in South Bend. Beat Boston College in a playoff game. Shut down Providence. Continue to be sharp against Boston University. Win a championship. Those are the goals until he decides to test his skills at the next level, likely following his third year in South Bend.

It is more than fair to think that the Sabres wanted to pull Petersen out of school this summer. It's also fair to realize that it's easier to complete one year of studies remotely than it is two. With that said, all signs point to Petersen giving up his final year of NCAA eligibility at the close of the upcoming season to try his hand at the pro game.

And with a somewhat cloudy goaltending picture in Buffalo, you can bet that the soon-to-be 22-year-old sees a fantastic opportunity ahead of him with an up-and-coming Sabres organization.


For a fun look back at Cal's early days as a Sabres prospect, check out the piece published here back in July 2013. 

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