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Rookie Berryman sees familiar faces at fantasy camp

April 12, 2019
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - Taylor Berryman started attending hockey games at a young age. After a move to Tennessee, his Buffalo-born father could no longer enjoy his Sabres, but the Nashville Predators were a good substitute.

"We've been going to games since day one," Berryman said. "We've had season tickets since the franchise started (in 1998). That's really what got me into hockey."

This past week was 27-year-old Berryman's first year at the Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camp in Lake Placid. He may have been a rookie from the South, but the ice was familiar.

Article Photos

Taylor Berryman of Nashville, Tennessee, stands in the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena during the Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camp in Lake Placid Tuesday, April 2.
(News photo — Griffin Kelly)

"My cousin Ed Brandt actually got us into the camp, so I was lucky enough to get on the same team as him and his son Roger," Berryman said.

They were on Team Blue - named Youthinager by the players.

Sharing the ice with relatives was more than just comforting; Berryman and his family knew how to play strategically together.

"Roger had an assist on one of my goals, and I had an assist on his so it was a cool little family connection out there," he said.

He also had the pleasure of working with some of the U.S. Olympians from the 1980 Miracle on Ice game against the Soviet Union.

"(Center) Mark Johnson was out there playing D, and then we had (left wing Mike) Eruzione behind the bench chirping orders at us," Berryman said. "It was really cool."

Their team lost the bronze-medal game against Bill Baker's Dirty Dozen. Berryman scored one goal in that game.

Berryman is a three-sport athlete who enjoys soccer and golf, but hockey will always hold a special place in his heart. Since the Predators started playing, Berryman said hockey has only gotten more popular in Tennessee.

"It's like wildfire," he said. "Youth hockey has got a long wait list. The Preds are doing a good job with their youth hockey program, and they're building more sheets of ice. There's a growth of the game in Nashville for sure."

The Miracle on Ice Fantasy Camp can seem like a lot from the outside. It costs about $6,500, it's a four-day commitment, and extensive travel is required for some campers. For Berryman, however, the return on investment isn't just partying with his teammates, meeting the 1980 players or skating in the Herb Brooks Arena. The real reward, he said, is the quality time with his father.

"It's been cool getting a week away with my dad. We don't really get a lot of opportunities to travel together. That's really made it worthwhile."



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