Crusader to defend at NCAA level

It didn’t take too long in the Alberta Junior Hockey League before Sherwood Park Crusader Mike Berry was able to make his name known.

This is 19-year-old Berry’s first year in the AJHL, having spent his last two seasons playing in British Columbia’s Junior ranks.

However, Crusader head coach and general manager Tim Fragle noted that the import addition, who is originally from Edmonton, has been a strong asset to the team.

“In the off-season, we had an opportunity to bring him in and he was a good addition for us,” Fragle said.

In only his first year in Alberta’s Junior league, Berry has managed to ensure that he will be playing long past his time with the Crusaders, as it was recently announced he has committed to the Bentley University Falcons of the Atlantic Hockey Association.

Bentley, who is also a Canadian Athletic Club alumni, should fit in nicely at the university level, at least from his coach’s perspective.

“He’s a smart kid,” Fragle said. “He’ll adjust accordingly. He’s a big kid, he’s strong and really mature. He’ll be fine in terms of strength and can continue to work on his overall skating, but his skating’s fine too, so it’s not like there’s one particular thing. I think it will be a good transition for him.”

To date this season, Berry has played in all 16 of the Crusaders’ games, having picked up one goal and 10 assists for 11 points, along with a total of 82 penalty minutes.

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