Lone Star forward Berardinelli makes NCAA DI commitment
March 11, 2016
Lone Star Brahmas forward Alex Berardinelli is a true ladder of development success story, having played three seasons in the NA3HL and two in the NAHL before making his NCAA Division I commitment.
The Lone Star Brahmas, proud members of the North American Hockey League (NAHL), are pleased to announce that forward Alex Berardinelli has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey at Colorado College for the 2016-17 season.
“It’s unbelievable and I couldn’t be more excited to be a Tiger,” Berardinelli said. “The coaching staff (at Colorado College) was incredible and the campus was beautiful.”
He represented the North American Hockey League’s South Division at the Top Prospects Tournament and he caught plenty of attention from college scouts and excellent Division I programs.
After narrowing down some offers, the winger decided to make the mountainous Colorado Springs his new home. “(The recruitment process) was enjoyable overall. Obviously it is stressful at times, but it was a great experience and I wouldn’t change it for anything,” Berardinelli said.
“He wowed (the scouts) at the Top Prospects Tournament. He had a hat-trick the one game. His speed wowed them because a lot of guys don’t have that dynamic speed. It’s unmatchable when you’re trying to create offense and that drives the D back. It’s harder to defend him with that speed,” Wildfong added.
“Not only does he have the speed, but he has the hands with it. He scores in all different ways. He scores on the penalty kill, on the power play, he’ll get a dirty goal, he’ll get a highlight reel goal. He can help you in a lot of ways.”
Berardinelli leads the team in goals (26), points (44), plus-minus rating (+16), game-winning goals (6), and short-handed points (10) this season. His 26 tallies are the second most goals by a Lone Star Brahma in a single season and there are still ten games to go before the Robertson Cup Playoffs.
He is valuable on the ice because he can play during all situations. While logging top line penalty kill minutes, Berardinelli helped the Brahmas kill over 88 percent of the team's penalties, which is good for the second best percentage in the league.
The Greensburg, Pennsylvania native will wrap up his second year of play in the North American Hockey League and he will participate in his fifth straight postseason this April as a member of the NAHL or NA3HL. From 2011-14, Berardinelli played in the NA3HL for the Pittsburgh Vengeance. He played in the 2012 NA3HL Top Prospects Tournament for Team East.
“Every coach, every teammate, and all my friends and family who have been by my side helped make this happen and I really have them to thank for everything,” Berardinelli said.
Over the last six seasons, Birdy has accumulated consistent numbers. Through 258 games under the NAHL’s umbrella, Berardinelli scored 132 goals and 134 assists for a whopping 266 points.
Since the New Year, Berardinelli has at least one point in 16 of his last 20 games. He has a chance to become the first Lone Star Brahmas skater to play in all 60 regular season games.
“He just has that old school hockey player mentality. He’s team first, his work ethic is phenomenal, and he’s just a really good kid. You add all those up and it makes for a successful hockey player,” Wildfong said. “I’m proud of him, I’m happy for him, and it’s good for our league and organization.”
The 5-foot-10, 175-pound forward is the ninth Brahma from this year’s team to announce his college commitment. Berardinelli will become the third Brahma to attend Colorado College, joining goaltender Jacob Nehama (2013-14) and forward AJ Vanderbeck (2014-15).
While on his official visit earlier this week, Berardinelli had a chance to chat with Nehama, who recently finished his freshman season in Colorado.
“We talked for half the practice and he told me all the good things about the school, the classes they take, what it’s like to be a part of the team, and all that.”
Before looking too much into the future, Berardinelli mentioned he is eager to finish his final year of junior hockey on a strong note. When asked how he wants to be remembered as a Brahma, Berardinelli wasted no time sharing his thoughts.
"Robertson Cup. That's it. That's what I want. That's what we want and that's what we're looking for."