Monday, May 27, 2013
Absurd Goalie Monday: Adam Berkhoel
After spending his high school in Minnesota with the Stillwater Ponies, Berkhoel moved to the USHL to play for the Tri-Cities Vulcans; playing 45 games with a 25-15-7, then went 7-6 in 13 playoff games.
Berkhoel moved to the NCAA ranks starting in the 2000-01 season with the University of Denver Pioneers, playing in 15 games his first season and finished with a 7-6-1 record, while in the second season-- Berkhoel played in 18 games with an improved 12-4-1 record. For his junior season, Berkhoel played in 26 games and posted a 12-6-4 record. During his senior season, Berkhoel had a tremendous breakout-- posting a 24-11-4 record in 39 games and helped Denver get an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament where he helped lead the Pioneers to the National Championship. Berkhoel was named to the All-Tournament Team and Tournament MVP.
While Berkhoel was in college, he was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks, but in the summer of 2004, the Hawks moved Berkhoel to the Atlanta Thrashers. During the 2004-05 season, Berkhoel spent most of the time in the ECHL with the Gwinnett Gladiators and finished there with a 9-10-5 record, then going 4-1 in seven playoff games. Also that season, Berkhoel was moved up to the AHL for the Chicago Wolves for a game, losing the only game that he played in.
Berkhoel played in all three top pro leagues in North America during the 2005-06 season, spending most the season in Gwinnett at 15 games (10-4-1), then in Chicago for 11 games (3-6-0), finally; getting a call-up to the Thrashers for nine games (2-4-1). Berkhoel also had a 6-3 playoff record with Gwinnett.
Without a team for the 2006-07 season, Berkhoel played mostly in the ECHL with the Dayton Bombers, potting a 23-17-3 record, then going 12-10 in the post-season, losing in the Kelly Cup Finals. Despite the disappointing ending, Berkhoel was named ECHL Goaltender of the Year and placed on the ECHL First All-Star team. Also that season, Berkhoel played in the AHL for the Rochester Americans, finishing with a 2-3-0 record in six games.
Berkhoel was signed by the Detroit Red Wings in the summer of 2007 and would play for the Grand Rapids Griffins in the 2007-08 and go 10-14-4 in 31 appearances. Moving to the 2008-09 season, Berkhoel moved to the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, where he would appear in 28 games and finish with the 15-11-2 record. Berkhoel played with WBS again for the 2009-10 season, playing in seven games and had a 4-3-0 record. Most of the 2009-10 season, Berkhoel went 12-11-3 in 28 games with the ECHL's Wheeling Nailers. After the season, Berkhoel retired from professional hockey.
Post-playing career, Berkhoel went into the player representation game by being a player rep for Vaughn Hockey for goalies in the pro and college ranks to outfit them with the Vaughn gear.
Though it was only nine games of glory and he ended his career at the young age of 29, his college career is one to be remembered, especially for the University of Denver faithful. Short and sweet and he still kept in the hockey industry and very closed to the game.