Berger averaged nearly a point per game last season.
Berger was already very familiar with Guy Gadowsky before the head coach even started recruiting him, due to a previous relationship when Gadowsky courted his older brother Jack to Princeton.
“I had an offer from the new Princeton staff and my brother is the captain there, so it was between Princeton and Penn State,” said the younger Berger. “My brother was recruited by Coach Gadowsky and played for him his freshman year, so my family liked him a lot. My brother loved him, he’s a classy guy and the whole coaching staff is great.”
Now the lefty forward will carve his own path under the new Penn State boss, after nearly putting up a point a game last season for the St. Louis Amateur Blues travel team, scoring 19 goals and dishing 19 assists in 40 games. A 2011 draft pick of the Tri-City Storm, Berger will finish his senior year of high school while playing this upcoming season of midget hockey with St. Louis, before heading out to Nebraska to play in the United States Hockey League for two years.
A pass-first forward who has been improving his shot, the 6-foot, 180-pound Missouri native loves to play in the offensive zone.
“I'm a playmaker, I try to move the puck well,” explained Berger. “I use my hands a lot, use my body, I'd say I'm more of a power forward type of guy with some hands and playmaking ability. Passing has always been the best aspect of my game, and my hockey sense in general has always gotten me through.”
Berger knows there is a lot of hockey ahead but is excited to be a part of the newly formed Penn State program.
“Everything about Penn State, the school aspect and the coaching staff as well, I just decided that’s where I wanted to be. The Big Ten is going to be the best league in college hockey, whether it’s right away or a few years down the road. Big time college hockey is something I’ve always dreamed of.”
Marsh scored 36 goals in 35 games last year.
Not to show up his future teammate, but Alec Marsh more than doubled Berger’s point total for 2011-12, putting up an eye-popping 36 goals and 43 assists in just 35 league games last year for the New Jersey Rockets. Marsh’s point total cracked triple digits when non-league games are factored in, forming a nice partnership with Yale-bound linemate Ryan Hitchcock.
“I'm a playmaker and a goalscorer.,” said the 5-foot-10 Marsh. “My vision on the ice is pretty good, I can see mostly everything from where I am.”
After being selected in last month’s USHL draft to Cedar Rapids, Marsh will likely start next season with the Rockets, with a few things in mind he needs to work on.
“I'm trying to get better at my defensive game a little bit, everyone can work on their defensive zone positioning, wall chips, blocking shots, things like that.”
Penn State started showing interest in the high school sophomore last fall, attending a few tournament games to introduce themselves. After steady contact, the righty forward made the trip to State College for a visit, and was impressed with everything he saw.
“Campus was beautiful, it was huge, and I liked the bigger feel,” admitted Marsh. “At first, before I went there, I heard about the new program. When I went and visited we went around campus and then saw the location of the rink. When I met with Coach Gadowsky, and he showed me the virtual tour of the rink and it just got me so excited for it.”
Coupled with visits to Brown and Northeastern, Marsh felt comfortable enough with Penn State’s program to give a verbal pledge, one he feels confident in.
“It feels unbelievable to be committed, I know there’s a long road ahead, but I am excited to work towards my goal.”