In 1948 something happened in St. Paul that would have a long and profound impact on the other side of the Mississippi for years to come. In that year, St. Paul Harding won the Region IV hockey championship and earned the right to represent the Capital City in the State Tournament. Its goalie? A young David Peterson. Yes, our Dave (add your favorite nickname here) Peterson who after experiencing the sweet taste of playing in the greatest state high school tournament in the country, decided then and there he wanted to make a habit of attending the event. That he did, taking 14 Southwest teams to the annual event held for the most part in St. Paul. For the record, in the 1948 tournament, Dave was in the nets for two wins including the consolation title game. But enough about St. Paul ...
Back on this side of the river, Dave began his teaching and coaching career at Minneapolis North in 1954 after graduating from Hamline University. He moved to Southwest the following year teaching business education and serving as chief peacekeeper in the lunch room. Besides coaching hockey, he also was an assistant football coach and served as the school’s first soccer coach. According to many old-timers, his sophomore and JV football teams were legendary.
During the off seasons Dave stayed sharp umpiring baseball games around the metro area, often teaming with his good friend and then Roosevelt hockey coach Bob Johnson who would later move on to coach at the University of Wisconsin.
Dave’s hockey teams were State Champions once, runners up once, third place winners twice, and consolation champions once. Many of his players went on to play Division I college hockey at places like the University of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Northern Michigan, Brown, and Princeton. Following the ‘Good Life’ at Southwest, Dave coached three U.S. National Teams, two U.S. National Junior teams and two Olympic teams before being hired by USA Hockey as Director of Coaching and Player Development. He retired in January of 1997.
Dave was married to his wife Janice for 47 years and they have four daughters, Susan, Karen, Tracy, and Darcy. Dave passed away in 1997. Like Al Halley, Dave is also in the State Coaches Hall of Fame.