Men's Hockey ArchivesBrett Petersen Named MIAC
Mens Hockey Coach of the Year
Brett Petersen, who guided the Gustavus Adolphus College mens hockey team to a second place finish in the regular season and to the championship game of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) Postseason Tournament, was named the 2002 MIAC Coach of the Year in a vote by the MIAC hockey coaches. Petersen, in just his second season directing the Golden Gustie hockey program, saw his squad improve from a last place finish and a league record of 3-11-2 last year to a second place finish this year with a mark of 9-3-4.
The Gusties made a drastic turnaround in MIAC play this season in posting six more wins and 14 more points than a year ago which was Petersens first year as the head coach. Gustavus picked up at least two points against every team in the MIAC this season except league champion St. Thomas which swept the Gusties, 2-1 and 1-0 in early November.
Working with a very young squad that was made up of five seniors, six juniors, eight sophomores and 10 freshman, Petersen saw his squad improve by leaps and bounds through the five month season. After a slow start that included a mark of 2-4-0 in their first six games, the Gusties caught fire in December posting a record of 6-1-0. Highlights of the month included a sweep over MIAC rival Augsburg (2-1 and 3-0) and a 6-5 win over nationally ranked Elmira in the championship game of the Johnson and Wales Tournament in Providence, Rhode Island. The lone loss was a 1-0 setback to nationally ranked UW-Stevens Point.
Petersen nurtured his inexperienced group through a challenging early January schedule which included back-to-back losses to NCHA foes UW-Stout (3-5) and UW-River Falls (3-4 OT) and back-to-back ties with playoff-bound St. Johns (2-2 and 3-3). Then in mid-January the Gusties really started to hit stride. Led by standout goaltender Dan Melde, and a talented first line of Joe Ulwelling, Jerod Klava and Justin Davis the Gusties would post a record of 5-1-2 in their final eight regular season games and qualify for the MIAC Playoffs for the first time in three years.
The Gusties posted a convincing 4-2 win over Augsburg in the MIAC Playoff semifinals before falling to St. Thomas, 3-2 in the MIAC Playoff Championship. Petersens squad, which posted eight more wins (14 in 2002 and six in 2001) and seven fewer losses (nine in 2002 and 16 in 2001) than a year ago, made the biggest turnaround of all 72 teams in Division III hockey.
A native of Roseville, Minnesota and a 1992 graduatue of Denver University, Peterson will begin his third season at Gustavus with a career record of 20-25-7.