Life On The Ice: Senior Dalton Berry Is Made Of Hockey

Fourth from left, Berry’s national bronze medalist Mustangs team

Since 2013, Dalton Berry’s life has revolved around hockey.

Berry first got involved in roller hockey the year prior, but he truly discovered his passion for the ice when he joined the Central Middle School hockey program, based at the Galatic Ice Arena in Altoona.

The team’s initial success was limited, posting a disappointing 2-12-1 record. However, Berry personally flourished on the ice each and every game, regardless of the score.

His second year of middle school was the catalyst for his game and a limited, yet a strong indicator of his bright future in the sport. He reveled in the success of a much stronger Central team which ended the season 9-3-2 and saw a championship game loss to the Bishop Guilfoyle Marauders. Berry closed out his second season with 12 goals and 7 assists for 19 points in 14 games.

It taught me that if you work your [butt] off, you can do anything. I went from when I was a kid getting cut from [Altoona] Trackers single A to making AA. The Barbosas forced me to get better and I trusted their words and became successful

— Dalton Berry

Since the days of no checking middle school hockey, Berry has claimed many notable accolades and has played strong, consistent hockey year after year.

His major accomplishments to date are being named captain of the varsity Marauders hockey team as a junior as well as earning the captain’s “C” for his AA U-18 Mid State Mustangs team.

The brightest moment of Berry’s young career so far occurred this spring when his U-18 Mustangs team placed 3rd in the nation at the Tier II 18U USA Hockey National Championships in Green Bay, WI.

Comprised of the best players from the greater Altoona and surrounding areas of Johnstown, State College and Indiana, the Mustangs qualified for the national tournament after their west Pennsylvania State Championship win in March. The team entered the tournament after a 13-hour trip, a day of practice and some rest prior to pool play’s start, initiating the Mustang’s run at the national title.

Berry attributes the all-around success which led to the opportunity of competing at the national level to dedication and work ethic.

After a 3-0 sweep of the preliminary round, the Mustangs entered the quarterfinal round with a matchup against a team out of Syracuse, New York.

The game was tight until Berry’s squad came out in the third period of play and scored 3 unanswered goals to press a lead of 4-1. The Stangs’ went on to win the quarterfinal game 4-2, qualifying Berry and his team for semi-finals play.

The Mustangs faced a strong team in the Wonderland Wizards from Bridgeport, Connecticut. However, they allowed 3 goals in the second period which would prove too much of a deficit to come back from. The game ended in a  3-1 loss but the Mustangs still left Wisconsin with a bronze medal.

Berry associates the end of the Mustang’s season to exhaustion and the loss of focus rather than lack of skill or effort. He doesn’t let the loss serve as cause for regret though, he’s allowed this season of surprise and success to motivate him further.

Berry credits his former coaches, Glen and Garrett Barbosa, as his most influential and motivational figures in the game.

Through these experiences, Berry has had no shortage of lessons learned.

“They taught me that if you work your [butt] off, you can do anything. I went from when I was a kid getting cut from [Altoona] Trackers single A to making AA. The Barbosas forced me to get better and I trusted their words and became successful,” said Berry.

Today, Berry can still be found on the ice at every possible moment, always focused on his game and improvement.

While no longer a member of the Mustangs organization, Berry looks to gain experience and further set up a future in the sport. In his last year of high school, he is the captain for his varsity squad.  He hopes to capture a second PAHL title with the Altoona Trackers travel team for the 18’-19’ season.

As for the future? He has high hopes to continue growing his ability, with college and junior hockey as options, it appears that Dalton Berry will continue to live his life on the ice.