Nov. 8, 2016
Freshman defenseman Andrew Peeke, a native of Parkland, Florida, has skated in all eight games for the ninth-ranked Fighting Irish so far this season and recently recorded his first career point with an assist in Notre Dame’s 6-2 win over UConn (Oct. 28). He was selected in the second round (34th overall) by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
As told to Luke Chval
Q: How did you get involved in hockey?
A: I did a Stanley C. Panther (who is the mascot for the Florida Panthers) skating event when I was about four years old. My parents took me to that and from there I just fell in love with hockey. My dad is from Michigan so he’s always been a big hockey fan as well.
Q: What’s something crazy you’ve done while playing hockey?
A: I’ve been to Europe three times because of hockey. The first time was when I was 12; I went to Sweden and Latvia, so that was an awesome experience going to Europe when I was so young. Not many people really get to do that. The other two times were for Team USA, two years ago and then last year. So those were amazing experiences being able to play for my country.
Q: What’s the best hockey game you’ve ever watched?
A: I’ll say the best game I’ve ever watched was the USA – Russia game [In the 2014 Winter Olympics] when T.J. Oshie had all the shootout goals. That game was pretty insane all around.
Q: What’s the best hockey game you’ve ever played in?
A: I’ll probably say last year in Green Bay. It was the Teddy Bear Toss game and we had about 8,300 fans, a sellout crowd, and it was just one of those experiences that you won’t be able to have many times.
Q: If you didn’t play hockey but still attended Notre Dame, what’s a club or organization you might join?
A: I’d probably want to play interhall tackle football. That looks pretty fun and I think I would want to do that.
Q: What made you decide to choose Notre Dame?
A: Notre Dame is basically the best of both worlds for hockey and academics. The education here speaks for itself; it’s one of the best universities in the country. And then hockey-wise I felt extremely comfortable with the program and the track record they have with good defensemen and the way that the team has played the last several years.
Q: What’s something amazing that one of your relatives has done to help you with your hockey career?
A: My dad, probably about four or five years ago, took a huge sacrifice to send me to a prep school in Connecticut to play hockey when I was going into my freshman year. That was a big commitment financially for my family but they were able to make that sacrifice and do that for me so I really want to thank them for everything they’ve done.
Q: Who was your favorite hockey player growing up?
A: I was a Panthers fan, but growing up my favorite hockey player was Shea Weber.
Q: What’s your favorite food at the dining hall?
A: I love making my own eggs at the buffet at North Dining Hall. Every morning that I have the chance to go there I end up making my own eggs.
Q: What’s the most undervalued statistic in hockey?
A: Blocked shots.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the Compton Family Ice Arena?
A: The rink itself is one of the most beautiful rinks in college hockey but I do think that people watching the game don’t know what we have downstairs and what we’re thankful for like our weight room and our locker room and all of the resources we have. So I’d say that downstairs, the parts that help make us get better, is the best part.
Q: What’s your most memorable goal scored in a game?
A: My most memorable one was probably two years ago when I was playing for the prep school I attended [South Kent Prep School]. It was in the national U18 tournament and I scored a huge goal to get us back into the game and it was one of those moments that I felt proud of because it changed the momentum of the game.
— ND —