Aug. 31, 2016
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame hockey head coach Jeff Jackson has announced junior goaltender Cal Petersen will be the team’s captain for the upcoming 2016-17 season. In addition, Petersen’s classmates Anders Bjork, Jake Evans and Luke Ripley will serve as alternate captains.
“We selected these four juniors and I think they all bring something different to the table with Cal being the leader of the group,” Jackson said. “With Cal’s position, the other three will be required to step up in game situations. I think Luke, Jake and Anders are all instrumental players in our lineup but, more importantly, they also have respect and ear of the team.”
It is believed to be the first time in Notre Dame hockey history that a goaltender will serve as a team captain.
Petersen started all 37 games in 2015-16 and led the nation in percentage of team minutes played while posting a 19-11-7 record. He finished with a 2.20 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage, which ranked 12th in the country. His .927 save percentage also ranked as the third-best, single-season mark in program history, while his 2.20 goals-against average was the sixth-best, single-season total in the Irish record book.
An Honorable Mention Hockey East All-Star, Petersen posted a 1.77 goals-against average in Hockey East play, good for second in the league, while his .937 save percentage in league play ranked third. 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. A Mike Richter Award nominee for the second consecutive year, Petersen also led the Irish to a 1-0 win over ninth-ranked Boston University on February 27 to close out the regular season. He made 35 saves in that victory to post his fifth career shutout.
Bjork led the Irish in scoring in 2015-16, posting 35 points on 12 goals and 23 assists in 35 games. His 12 goals and 23 assists were career-high totals. He finished the year with seven multi-point games, including a goal and an assist in Notre Dame’s 3-2 overtime loss to Michigan in the semifinal of the 2016 NCAA Midwest Regional. Bjork also had a two-goal performance in Notre Dame’s 5-1 win over UMass on Dec. 5 and notched a goal and two assists in wins over Minnesota (Nov. 6) and Merrimack (Jan. 15-16). He strung together a career-long, 10-game point streak from Nov. 28 — Jan. 23 (7-8-15).
In 22 Hockey East games, Bjork posted eight goals and 13 assists for 21 points. He also posted a +18 rating in Hockey East games, which was the second-best total on the season. Bjork missed last season’s Denver series (Jan. 1-2) while playing for Team USA at the 2016 World Junior Championship. He helped lead Team USA to the bronze medal, netting a pair of goals in the 8-3 bronze medal game win over Sweden en route to being named Team USA’s Player of the Game (Jan. 4). He became the fifth Notre Dame player to earn a medal at the event.
Evans had a breakout year offensively for the Irish in 2015-16. He skated in all 37 games and scored eight goals and added 25 assists for 33 points, each of which were career-high totals. His 33 points ranked second on the team, while his 25 assists led the team and ranked tied for seventh among Hockey East players. He finished the season with four power-play goals and a game-winner and also had nine multi-point games, including six games with at least two assists. He posted a +15 mark on the season, which tied for the second on the team.
Ripley skated in all 37 games, scored a goal and added six assists for seven points. He also finished the season with a +12 rating, which ranked second on the team among defensemen, and blocked 56 shots. He notched assists in wins over Minnesota (4-3 on Nov. 6), Western Michigan (3-1 on Nov. 28) and UMass (5-1 on Dec. 5). He scored his only goal of the season to put the Irish up 1-0 in the eventual 6-4 game two loss to Northeastern in the Hockey East Quarterfinals (March 12).
The Fighting Irish open the 2016-17 regular season with a weekend home series against Arizona State on Oct. 7-8 at the Compton Family Ice Arena. To purchase tickets, visit UND.com/BuyTickets.