HC ’05 Banská Bystrica management hired up to three summer hockey players, who spent last season in the AHL’s second best outdoor competition. Americans Chase Berger with Mitchell Fosser and Russian Nikita Scherbach immediately joined the leaders of the offensive team. In the first seven rounds of the Overtime League, they skillfully collected 13 Canadian points. The bulk of them fell at the expense of the first name.
At Banská Bystrica they are used to success and I want to become part of the winning culture, says Chase Berger
Chase Berger, 26, is the second most productive player in the Rams with three goals and three assists. “I am still happy with Slovakia and the domestic extra league. I am fine on the ice. The only exception was Sunday’s match in Nitra, which did not work out for me. I feel confident and want to take the opportunity they gave me in Banska Bystrica,” The Creative Center said in an interview with Sports Daily.
Without starting in the NHL
Before coming to Urpin, Berger played abroad exclusively. He went to the USHL Juniors, NCAA University and in the previous three seasons collected AHL starts. He played 88 duels for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, Pittsburgh Agricultural Team. He scored six goals in it and passed the next thirteen. However, he did not see the dream turn into the “Penguins” team.
„I wanted to try something new and was interested in the offer from Banská Bystrica. Sporting director Julius Koval told me how the club has won titles in recent years. I know they are used to being successful in the city and I want to be part of a winning culture. I think the arrival of so many top players indicates that the team can head to the front.” Chase Berger, who was facilitated by the presence of hockey players from North America, made it easier to adapt to the new environment.
„I was happy, but I must say that the players of the local team also treat our soldiers very warmly. Thanks to that, we feel privileged in the cabin, and despite the mix of multiple nationalities, we have created a cohesive unit.”
At the start of the new edition of the Extra League, the hockey players of Banská Bystrica showed that they are ready to fight for higher positions after last year’s difficulty. They defeated Poprad or Trenchen and also scored on the ice at the Zvolen Championships. However, due to the reconstruction of the winter stadium, they would complete the first 22 laps exclusively with their opponents, and perhaps the complexity of this program had a negative impact on the team’s results.
After a streak of three consecutive losses, the “rams” slipped to seventh place in the table. “Certainly such a schedule does not help us at the beginning of the season, but I think that thanks to a series of duels abroad, we will become a stronger team. We need to remain calm, maintain a solid philosophy and gradually improve our performance.” He explained Chase Berger who hates losses.
„My only goal on the ice is to win. I want to go the extra mile in every game, fight hard and create chances for my teammates to be as dangerous as possible in attack. If you can achieve it, the whole team will benefit from it, which is the most important thing.”
Chase Berger comes from the hockey family. His two older brothers Jack and Jimmy have already ended their playing career. The youngest of four siblings, Christian, recently entered the second season at Penn State and has already scored three points as a defender in four doubles in the prestigious NCAA. “My father also used to play hockey and our neighbors are big fans of the sport. We love hockey and it is the main topic of conversation in our house,” I acknowledge.
Citizen of St. Lewis has been watching NHL “blues” games closely since he was a kid. Therefore, he had no problem remembering some Slovaks who worked at the club in the past. “I especially remember Pavel Dimitra, but also Peter Cegna. Of all the Slovak hockey players I had the chance to see on the profile, Marian Houssa stayed in my memory the most when he played for the Chicago Blackhawks. I admired his playing. He had a career playing Brilliant and I also liked it as a person,” Chase Berger concluded.
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