Action County: Rob Berger |

Action County: Rob Berger

ADAM BOFFEYsummit daily newsSummit County, CO Colorado
Summit Daily/Mark Fox

When Rob Berger first started playing street hockey in the cul de sacs of his Pennsylvania neighborhood, none of his buddies wanted to play goalie.Berger, who is now one of the most dominant netminders in Breckenridge rec hockey, was actually attracted to the position.”Back then, if you put on the goalie pads, it was like you weren’t going to be part of the game,” Berger said. “You weren’t going to be the hero. I decided I wanted to give it a shot and maybe stop some of those guys who thought they were so good and it just kind of progressed from there.”Berger, 33, played varsity ice hockey for four years in high school, had a brief stint with the West Virginia University club team, then landed in Summit in 1996.A year later, he became the goalie for Mi Casa of the B League and a year after that, he debuted in the A League with a team that now goes by Remax/Big Hit. He’s been playing three seasons a year ever since.

“I’m definitely burned out,” Berger confessed in a recent interview. “I’m tired of being a target.”That said, the Rasta Pasta cook seems to find life without hockey pretty tough to imagine.”I’ve been playing so long, I feel obligated,” he said. “But not in a bad way.”Because goalies are in such high demand, they are allowed to play in multiple leagues, whereas all other players are limited to one. Berger is coming off a memorable winter season in which Mi Casa and Remax/Big Hit both won their respective championships.The self-declared ski bum posted a shutout in each final – 9-0 against Jersey Boys in the A League and 3-0 against Eric’s in the B League.

“It was kind of funny because in the last two playoff games, my warmups were terrible,” Berger said. “But whenever I’m nervous in warmups and let a lot pucks in, it usually translates to me not letting in anything during the game. I like going in a little nervous.”How many saves did you make in both finals?”A League was less than 15 shots, which is never fun – I always like to get more than that. Against Eric’s, I think I stopped around 29 shots. With that many, a majority of them won’t be quality, but a lot of the saves are going to require side-to-side movement, deflections and tips.”

How much of a gap in talent is there between the A and B Leagues?”It’s not a huge drop-off. Most guys in A have played 10 or 11 years and played in high school or college. A League shots are all solid shots. In B League, maybe five out of 10 times a guy will get a good slapper off. In A League, it’s pretty much nine out of 10 times and that shot’s coming with some heat.”How many local rec championships have you been a part of?”I’m not sure. I don’t want to say too many, but I don’t want to say too little either. … Probably eight or nine.”

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