CORPUS CHRISTI, TX – Another former member of the Corpus Christi IceRays will play NCAA hockey next year as (F) Brandon Berkley announced his commitment to UMass-Dartmouth, a member of the MASCAC conference in DIII Men’s Ice Hockey.
“It\’s a great feeling” said Berkley, an Arizona native. “I feel like all the hard work in the past has finally paid off. My goal since I was young was to play college hockey and I\’m excited to have the opportunity to do that next year.”
UMass-Dartmouth finished at the bottom of the MASCAC conference this past season but when Berkley received the call from head coach John Rolli, a little research was all it took to make an easy decision.
“When I received a phone call from Coach Rolli I listened to what he had to say about his school and program” Berkley added. “I did some research and liked their academic and hockey program. In the 2012-13 season they won their conference championship and last year was the start of rebuilding to get back to where they were the previous year. I am looking forward to the challenge of helping them build another winning team.”
Being noticed wasn’t easy due to the fact that Berkley missed the entire 2013-2014 season with injury. “It wasn\’t easy to gain interest when I missed my whole last season of juniors with a hip injury. Luckily for me I had a lot of support from Coach Jeff Worlton and Coach Justin Quenneville for whom I played for in Corpus Christi my first year. They really went to bat for me with contacting schools and helping me in my decision.”
“Finally some good news for that boy” said IceRays general manager Pat Dunn. “Brandon had a rough season last year as he got injured during training camp, and never got healthy again even after many different treatments. He finally had to go under the knife to repair a torn labrum in his hip. It was a tough year for Brandon. We really missed his presence both on and off the ice. Brandon is a fine young man that comes from a great family. He was a good player and also a great teammate. Today is a great day for the IceRays organization but more importantly for the Berkley family. It is well deserved and we wish him all the best in his future hockey endeavors.”
In his only season with the IceRays during the 2012-13 campaign, Berkley played 50 regular season games notching five goals and nine assists while racking up 149 penalty minutes. However, the highlight moment was in Game 1 of the NAHL South Division Semifinals at Amarillo where Berkley added the game winner late in regulation.
“There were so many things that I liked about playing hockey in Corpus Christi” Berkley went on to say. “Some of the things that really made my experience special were the, IceRays front office, my billet family, teammates, coaches, and most importantly the fans. I don\’t think there is any other team in the NAHL with fans as supportive and loyal as IceRays fans.”
The UMass-Dartmouth Corsairs captured the league title in 2012-2013 with a 12-8-7 record and qualified for the NCAA Tournament. Fans on the east coast can expect a physical player that will play both ends of the ice and brings intensity and energy to the Hetland Arena.
In the course of just FOUR seasons in the North American Hockey League, the Corpus Christi IceRays have now had 39 current, former, & future players move on to play NCAA Ice Hockey.
Season tickets for the 2014-2015 season of IceRays hockey will be on sale shortly. Call the front office at 361-814-7825 for details or check out the pricing and seating chart online at www.goicerays.com.
Stay current with the latest team news by visiting www.goicerays.com. In addition stay connected with the IceRays on Facebook (/corpuschristiicerays), Twitter (@goicerays), and the team’s Youtube channel ICERAYS TV (@goicerays)