Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Cadillac's Peterson settles in with 'Cats

By Marc Vieau, Cadillac News

CADILLAC - Nate Peterson has been everywhere, man.

He's been to Traverse City.

He's been to North Bay, Ontario, Canada.

He's been to Blind River, Ontario.

His next stop is at least back in the United States - in Bismarck, North Dakota.

Peterson, a 2005 Cadillac High School graduate, is still chasing the goal of playing collegiate hockey somewhere.

Now 19 years of age, Peterson signed with the Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League over the weekend.

The Bobcats are in the NAHL's West Division, opposite teams like the Traverse City North Stars and Alpena Ice Diggers, which are in the East Division.

The move to Bismarck came through the help of current Cadillac hockey coach Scott Graham, who helped Peterson get a chance.

“Coach Graham knows one of the assistant coaches out there, so he called out there and talked to both coaches for me,” Peterson said. “Then I signed up for an open tryout in Detroit, they liked me and invited me back to Bismarck to try out last weekend. We played in some scrimmages and things like that.”

When the weekend was over, the Bobcats' staff posted a list of who made it and Peterson found his name.

He reports to North Dakota on Aug. 27 for training camp with the season set to begin on Sept. 13.

He takes with him some opened eyes about the business of hockey after bouncing around a bit during the 2005-06 season.

Peterson began the season in Traverse City where he played in just nine games.

From there, he was traded to North Bay of the Northern Ontario Junior Hockey League, where he was on the team for just three weeks before being traded again.

At his next stop - in Blind River, Ont., - Peterson stuck around enough to play in 30 games for the Beavers, scoring three goals and 12 assists.

“Hockey is more than a sport; it's a business, too,” he said.

While in Bismarck, players stay with host families but do pay $250 to cover expenses.

The 2006-07 season is the key one when it comes to Peterson getting a chance to play collegiately - something that's been his goal all along.

He can only play in the NAHL until the age of 20, making this the last season he's eligible to play in the junior league.

“It's a huge year for me to get better if I want to move on,” Peterson said.

“I am just looking for a scholarship and get someone else to pay for college.

“I want to get in lots of ice time and get better.”

He's had contact with Lake Superior State University, Ferris State University and couple smaller schools out east like Salem State, Utica College and Castleton College in Vermont.

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