Just as Andy
Berg's college records are dying, his professional career has
Air Force cadet's name is in the news because Niagara's Barret
Ehgoetz and Alabama-Huntsville's Jared Ross are in the process
of breaking his career CHA scoring records. Heading into this
weekend, Berg has just one mark left – career goals. His
64 are ahead of Ehgoetz's 62 and Ross' 61. But Ehgoetz (147) has
already eclipsed Berg (142) in points, and both Ehgoetz (85) and
Ross (79) have passed Berg (78) in career assists.
Not that Berg
really cares. After all, his records are less than two years old.
it was a matter of time before they went down," Berg told
INCH from his Air Force base near Columbia, S.C. "I'm just
glad it's those two guys, because they're good players."
at Air Force from 1999-2003, meaning he was part of the first
class to play all four years in the fledgling CHA. After running
out of eligibility, he spent last season as a graduate assistant,
of sorts, with Air Force before being moved to his base in South
Carolina about five months ago. Just last week, he signed with
the Columbia Inferno of the ECHL. He hasn't scored in his first
three ECHL games, but his former coach has no doubt he'll succeed
in the league.
East Coast League's tempo is not as frantic as in college hockey,"
Air Force coach Frank Serratore said. "They only have 15
or 16 skaters or so, and they'll play three games in three nights,
so it's more of a controlled tempo. That's good for Andy because
he's a read-and-react player with good hockey sense. Sometimes,
you don't get to use those skills as much in college because it's
such racehorse hockey, just wave after wave after wave.
he had gifts that not a lot of our players have. He came to us
right out of high school, which is rare, but he was able to generate
offense right from the get-go. We didn't teach him those skills,
he brought those with him."
his hay on the power play, especially along the half-wall, where
he could take a pass from a teammate and unleash his dynamite
one-timer. Serratore said that Berg could have played on any team's
power play – Minnesota, Michigan and the like included.
down South, and his college legacy is about to be dimmed somewhat
by Ehgoetz and Ross. But it's OK, he says. He's cool with his
Air Force job of buying supplies for those at the base, and he's
excited about playing for the Inferno – even though it entails
getting to work at 7 a.m., then leaving for practice at 8:30 and
skating until 11 a.m., then returning to work at noon and staying
til dinner time.
Berg hopes to run across Ehgoetz and Ross at the professional
like to see them succeed, and I'm sure they will," Berg said.
"If you look at it, they're reaching the record in fewer
games (123 for Ehgoetz, 116 for Ross) than I did (140). They deserve
AND HEARD IN THE LEAGUES
got a thin candy shell – Near the end of the classic
movie Tommy Boy, Chris Farley's character is sitting
on a bench lamenting the long list of things that have recently
gone wrong in his life. Just as he finishes, the bench's legs
crumble under his considerable weight. Further disillusioned by
the ironic twist, he resignedly – yet comically –
utters, "I could have done without that."
much-slimmer coach, Bruce Marshall, had a similar feeling last
week during a loss to Holy Cross in the first round of the UConn
Hockey Classic. During a delayed penalty against Holy Cross, Marshall's
Huskies actually scored on themselves, adding insult to their
already moribund first half.
at our defensive blue line, and one of our guys passed it back
to our defenseman so we could get a little more spread out on
the ice," Marshall said. "But our defenseman got hooked
at the last second, and the puck rolled off his stick and into
was a little much."
The goal made
it 5-2 in an eventual 6-3 Holy Cross win. But it also was symbolic
of the team's season to this point. Being 3-13-2 overall and only
two points out of the Atlantic Hockey basement isn't exactly where
an up-and-coming squad with the best forward in the league and
a returning starting goalie expected to find itself. Still, it
is what it is, and Marshall wants to make the best of it, starting
with this weekend's trip to Army.
nothing non-correctable," Marshall said. "It's not like
there's a big hole in this part of our team or that part. There
are plenty of pieces here. That's why I feel confident this group
can turn it around.
thing that I'm frustrated with the guys about – and they
are, too – is that it's January and, on tape, we're still
showing them mistakes they're making. I can understand one or
two guys having a bad game, but it seems like we always have five
or six that we're saying, you're turning the puck over here, you're
not doing this, you're not doing that. We've got to fix that."
(doesn't) matter – The Serratore Bowl (we've still
got that early January spirit) between Frank Serratore's Falcons
and brother Tom Serratore's Bemidji State Beavers commences again
this weekend in Minnesota, but the sibling rivalry isn't a big
deal to Frank.
more revved up playing CC and DU, to be honest with you,"
Frank Serratore said. "It's not that big of a deal to me.
He and I grew up playing on opposite teams, playing one-on-one
basketball, shooting pucks, hitting baseballs. This is just our
teams playing. We're not actually physically going to be out there
playing against each other."
On the other
hand, Tom Serratore probably can't wait to play his brother's
team. He's 10-0-1 all-time against Frank.
AT THE BOTTOM OF THE BAG
Great Weekend Getaway
State at Alabama-Huntsville (Fri.-Sat.) The first-place Chargers will return to the ice
for the first time in more than a month, and they'll find
the split-happy, third-place Warriors waiting for them.
This starts Wayne State's four-game road swing through UAH
and Niagara that will go along way toward determining whether
the Warriors really are a top-tier CHA team. It's not out
of the question that either team could sweep this weekend.
You're There: Now don't go missing the games for this, but
the Alabama RV Super Show – the largest RV
show in Alabama and Tennessee – will be sharing
the Von Braun Center with the UAH hockey team this weekend.
Buy a one-way air ticket down to Huntsville for the games,
and drive back up north in your new Wanderlodge.
Force got into the holiday spirit by visiting the
Colorado Springs Children's Hospital and Denver Children's
Hospital between Christmas and New Year's. The players signed
autographs for patients, and distributed the 709 toys they
collected during the team's "Toy Trick" drive
at two earlier home games. Remaining toys were given to
local clinics, shelters and fire houses. Nicely done.
now on, Air Force goalie Peter Foster might
want to let his play do the talking. After telling the Denver
Post, "I haven't seen any of the other goalies
in this (Denver Cup) tournament, but personally, I think
I'm the best," Foster let in seven goals on 24 shots
in two periods against Denver. Among DU's septet was a hat
trick by the Pioneers' favorite Foster, Jon.
International's 4-2 loss to Princeton on Tuesday marked
the program's first game against an Ivy League school since beating
Yale, 7-5, on Jan. 15, 1977. The Yellow Jackets won't have to
wait nearly as long for their next Ivy tussle. They travel to
Brown next Wednesday.
time, I was talking to a cheerleader at a party, and she told
me she could do the splits three different ways. That was great.
But she doesn't have anything on Wayne State,
which has split seven of its nine series this year. The only deviations
were a sweep of Canisius and a three-point effort
against Robert Morris. Strangely, the Warriors
won the opener of their first three splits and the closer of their
Hockey staged four midweek league games and had AIC
playing a nonconference tilt Tuesday, giving the AHA a professional
or major-junior feel this week. The schedule loomed largest for
Quinnipiac, which traveled to Canisius
and Mercyhurst, but the Bobcats got just one
point (a tie with Canisius) for their efforts. Of course, there
are games on this weekend's docket, too, highlighted by a pair
of interconference geographical rivalries. Buffalo neighbors Niagara
and Canisius face off Saturday at Dwyer Arena in their only meeting
of the season. It will be Atlantic Hockey's (0-6) last chance
to get a win in the Commissioners' Cup series.
Pennsylvania's lone teams, Mercyhurst and Robert Morris,
get together for the second and final time.
the lame pun, but Army coach Brian Riley got
several late Christmas presents when forwards Chris Garceau and
Ryan Cruthers and goalie Brad Roberts returned to the lineup in
an exhibition win against St. Clair last week. Garceau, who had
three assists in three games before his injury, and Roberts, the
team's No. 1 goalie, had been out since late October with knee
ailments. Cruthers, who tied for the team lead with 18 points
last season, was academically ineligible for the first semester.
Cruthers and Garceau came back with a bang, scoring a combined
three goals against St. Clair. Meanwhile, Roberts dressed for
the game, but did not play. He's expected to dress against UConn
this weekend, but Treye Kettwick will start Friday.
before the break, Niagara coach Dave Burkholder
dismissed sophomore forward Aaron Clarke from the team for violating
team rules. Burkholder said the decision was based on a sum of
minor offenses, such as being late for team meetings, not one
major indiscretion. "We had to act," Burkholder said.
Clarke had three goals and three assists in nine games this season
after registering 13 points in 32 games as a freshman. He reportedly
is transferring to Robert Morris.
before the break, prosecutors in Anoka County, Minn., citing a
lack of evidence, dropped sexual assault charges against Bemidji
State player Riley Riddell and two non-athletes for an
alleged rape near BSU's campus. Despite the charges being dropped,
Riddell was not invited to rejoin the Beavers.
up the month-old news section of our notebook, Bemidji
earned a big 4-2 win over Western Michigan on Dec. 18. While we're
always happy to see a "Little Two" team beat a "Big
Four" representative, the even more encouraging part of that
night was that Beavers freshman Jake Bluhm scored the winner.
Bluhm was INCH's pick as the CHA's top newcomer during the preseason,
but his goal against WMU was just his first as a collegian. He
has two points in 11 games played thus far.
Quinnipiac Bobcats will be televised live on
NESN when they face Maine on Sunday evening.
nominating process for 2005 Vote for Hobey has begun. Head over
to show your support for Barret Ehgoetz, Jared Ross, Dave Borrelli
and your other favorite Atlantic Hockey and CHA players.
of sources were utilized in the compilation of this report.