Northern Edge goalie to join college ranks after two others on team
BY KEVIN BONESKE
Rhinelander High School senior Shea Petersen wants to continue playing on the ice in goal after graduation.
“I was really heartbroken when high school hockey ended, because I played (the sport) for 12 years, so it’s my life,” Petersen said. “To be able to continue on is huge for me.”
Petersen, a four-year starter as a goalie for the Northern Edge, signed a national letter of intent during a ceremony Tuesday in the RHS Digital Media Center to play women’s hockey at the Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) located in Mequon.
After being undecided about what she wanted to do after graduating from high school, Petersen said she had applied late to CUW and also filled out a survey about her interest in being on the women’s hockey team before being picked as a goalie.
“It was a lot all at once,” she said.
Kevin Sandstrom, who has been the Northern Edge’s head coach the past two seasons, said Petersen developed as a leader both on and off the ice the past two years.
“It was a huge part of our team and the success that we did have this season,” Sandstrom said. “When we looked at our season this last year, our absolute (Most Valuable Player), it wasn’t even a close conversation, it was unanimous, talking with any coach that was part of the Edge this year. She held us in games.”
Peterson, who was named to the Great Northern Conference’s second team as a goalie for 2016-17, made 246 saves in eight conference games with a goals-against average of 4.00 and a save percentage of .885 after giving up 32 goals in league play.
Upon joining the college ranks, Petersen said she hopes to continue being a leader both on and off the ice, while not being as hard on herself, for whom she is her harshest critic.
“I get so passionate, and then adrenalin, mixed with how I’m feeling, is not pretty,” she said.
This marks the third year in a row a player on the Rhinelander/Antigo girls hockey cooperative team made a commitment to play women’s hockey on the college level with defenseman Lauren Smith joining the Division III University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point program, followed by forward Katie Detert playing at the Division I level at St. Cloud State University and now Petersen planning to be join CUW’s Division III program that is part of the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association.
“If you look at all three of those girls, they start young,” Sandstrom said. “They started at the youth level. They moved their way up. They were huge contributors for the Northern Edge.”
Given that there will be two other goalies on CUW’s team, including the starter from last season, Petersen said the prospects are “not very likely” for her to work her way into the starting lineup next season.
“Right away, the coach did say that he was really looking for a major leadership role, and that I would need to be ready if called upon, but it wasn’t necessarily going to be a play-a-lot situation yet,” she said.
Petersen said she plans to major in hospitality and event management at CUW.
“I’m thinking that a long ways down the road, I might take the culinary route with it and maybe open a restaurant or something along those lines,” she said.
Petersen said she was interested in attending CUW from an academic standpoint because the college doesn’t have any student teachers and all the teachers have many years of experience in their respective fields.
“I also really like how close the campus is – everything’s connected – so close-knit,” she said. “And class sizes are really small, so you really get to know the teachers and the students.”