As a product of Bucky's 5th Quarter's increased hockey coverage, we've started the "Meet the Freshmen" series where we'll be introducing you to a couple of incoming hockey freshmen every week leading up to the Badgers season opener October 7th versus Northern Michigan at the Kohl Center. This week we'll kick things off with goaltender Landon Peterson.
Peterson comes to Wisconsin after spending the past two seasons after tending the net for the Alaska Avalanche of the North American Hockey League. In two seasons for the Avalanche Peterson racked up a 37-20-9 record with a 2.82 goals against average and a .913 save percentage. Petersons 24 wins last season set a team record.
The young netminder is suiting up for the Badgers at a time where playing time between the pipes is far from a set situation. Last season Wisconsin graduated seniors Brett Bennett and Scott Gudmandson who were the only two goaltenders in the program to see any game action. Fellow freshman Joel Rumpel is the early favorite for the number 1 job but Peterson and red-shirt sophomore Mitch Thompson expect to contend for minutes this season.
Peterson is a local kid from Oregon, WI and told Bucky's 5th Quarter in an interview after he committed that it's always been a dream to play for the Badgers.
"Growing up in Wisconsin, it was always my dream to play for the Badgers. Not only just to play hockey, I always wanted to get an education there too. When I was offered from the coaching staff, I was thrilled that I actually got to play at my dream school. It was a very surreal feeling to have, and I couldn't have been happier."
In addition to on ice skills the Wisconsin coaching staff has taken it upon themselves to recruit players with outstanding charachter, players who have a "Wisconsin attitiude" and are willing to come to the rink and work hard day in, day out. In an interview with the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman, Alaska coach Brian Huebel mentioned Petersons off ice work.
"The first question the (Wisconsin) coach asked is how is his character. I was able to give him a number of examples of the type of kid he is. His character and work ethic stick out to me the most."
On the ice Peterson has excelled in the North American Hockey League and he's hoping to bring that success to the Badgers. In our interview in May after his committment he explained that because he can't rely on his size alone to stop the puck he's forced to use his angles and use his atheltic ability to keep the puck out of the net.
"I'm not a tall 6'4" goalie, who has a very large presence in net as you see a lot today. As a 6 foot goalie, I use my athletic abilities, quickness, and tend to play out on top of my crease to cut down angles, and to make myself appear larger in net. I'd consider myself a hybrid goalie, who I would most resemble the play of Jimmy Howard of the Detroit Redwings."
The Landon Peterson Profile:
- Last team: Alaska Avalanche (NAHL)
- Hometown: Oregon, WI
- Size: 6'0, 185
- Twitter account: @landonpetey
- Last seasons statistics: 24-11-4, 2.74 GAA, .913 Save %
- 2011-2012 Projection: It's extremely hard at this point to project playing time especially between the pipes so take this with a grain of salt. 3 games played, 2 starts with a 3.30 GAA and .895 Save %.
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