Waterloo Native Makes NHL Debut
Cal Petersen's big moment finally happened Tuesday night (Nov. 13, 2018).
The Waterloo native made his National Hockey League (NHL) debut with the Los Angeles Kings.
“I had some nerves going in there, but I think once I got my first saves under my belt, it felt good and I was able to settle in,” Petersen told the Los Angeles Times, following the Kings' 5-1 home loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs at Staples Center. “Obviously, it’s a very good hockey team over there.”
While the game's outcome didn't end up as Petersen would've liked, his debut in the net was a successful one. He replaced starting goaltender Peter Budaj in the second period and played 35-minutes, 27-seconds, stopping 15 of the 16 shots he faced.
According to the Times, Petersen was sent into the game after Budaj gave up four goals on 19 shots. The Kings were trailing 4-1 when Petersen made his debut in the crease, and immediately faced a four-minute power play against one of the NHL's best units. Toronto scored on the opportunity, but it was the only goal Petersen allowed.
The Kings recalled Petersen from their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate in Ontario on Monday after L.A.'s top two goaltenders suffered knee injuries. The 24-year-old's NHL debut came five years after he was drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the fifth-round of the 2013 draft. He signed with Los Angeles in 2017.
According to the Times, one of the first things Petersen did after learning the Kings were promoting him was to call his parents in Waterloo.
With his debut Tuesday night, Petersen made some history. He became the first former Waterloo Black Hawks goaltender to log minutes during an NHL regular-season game.
Petersen played more than two full seasons for his hometown team, setting Waterloo's junior era record with 51 career regular season victories. He recorded 27 wins during the 2013-14 season, when the Black Hawks claimed the Anderson Cup for having the best regular season record in the United States Hockey League (USHL).
Petersen also had 10 wins in 16 career playoff appearances for Waterloo, helping the Black Hawks reach the 2014 Clark Cup Championship Series.
From Waterloo, Petersen spent three seasons at Notre Dame. In his junior year, he backstopped the Fighting Irish to the Frozen Four and was named to the Northeast Regional All-Tournament Team. Petersen finished with a career NCAA mark of 55-39-15, including 11 shutouts.
Source: Los Angeles Times