Former Denver Teammates Have On-Ice
Reunions In Columbia, Dayton

By John Devlin
Special Correspondent
© 2007 The State

Columbia Inferno forward Luke Fulghum is having a homecoming week of sorts, hooking up with former University of Denver teammate Adam Berkhoel.

The former Pioneers’ stars met for the first time this season Friday when the Dayton Bombers came to town, and the two will see each other again Sunday in Dayton where the Inferno cap their only road swing of the year through the ECHL North.

“(Adam is) a great guy and a good friend,” Fulghum said. “We saw each other after our pre-game skate and just had time to catch up with things. We saw a lot more of each other last year when he was with Gwinnett and I was in Pensacola.”

Fulghum had a word of advice for his old college buddy and budding star goaltender.

“I told him to him to watch his glove,” he said with a smile.

Sure enough, Fulghum ripped a slap shot over Berkhoel’s tardy glove for the game-winning goal in Columbia’s 5-4 win.

“Adam’s outstanding in goal, but, like any goalie, he doesn’t like a lot of traffic in front of the net and that’s what we did to him,” Fulghum said.

Fulghum hopes to spend a little more time with Berkhoel in Dayton.

“We couldn’t get together after the game because Dayton had to leave for a game against South Carolina,” he said. “I have his cell number and hopefully we’ll be able to hook up a little longer up there.”

Fulghum and Berkhoel helped lead Denver to the 2003-04 NCAA national championship — its first in 35 years. Fulghum scored 14 goals for the Pioneers as a junior, while Berkhoel went 24-11-4 with a 2.45 goals against average and seven shutouts, including a 1-0 win over Maine in the national title game.

Fulghum became a pro prospect with 23 goals as a senior while playing a key role in another Denver title run in 2004-05.

Denver’s two championship teams had 11 players turn pro, including current NHL regulars Peter Stastny (Colorado Avalanche) and Matt Carle (San Jose Sharks).

Berkhoel leads the ECHL in goals against average and shutouts and was named the MVP of the 2007 All-Star game. He played in nine games with the Atlanta Thrashers last season.

Fulghum, a Colorado Springs native, made some enemies by choosing Denver over hometown Colorado College.

“I took some heat over that, but I got back at those people because we took it to the Tigers a lot when I was there,” he said. “I just wanted to play at DU since I was playing midget hockey. It was the right decision for me.”