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My Hometown

Player: Adam Berkhoel

Hometown: Woodbury, Minn.

Population: 46,463 (2000 U.S. Census)

Type: Suburb of St. Paul

The place where Adam Berkhoel grew up no longer exists. When Berkhoel was a kid, Woodbury, Minn. was a small town surrounded by woods and farms. His friends lived far away so Berkhoel had to make his own fun. That meant spending time on his grandparents’ farm, shooting pucks at garage doors and raising pheasants. Today, housing developments have gobbled up the rural character of Woodbury, but Berkhoel fondly remembers when the town was a little less populated.

What kind of place was Woodbury when you were a kid?

“It used to be a small town in the country with nothing around. You would have to drive 15 minutes to go to the store or see your friends. But now it’s completely blown up. They just started putting up houses and retail shops left and right. My wife and I have a town home there and the conveniences are nice, but it’s overpopulated.”

What did you do in Woodbury besides playing hockey?

“My grandparents had a big farm and I’d always go there. We played in the woods and rode four wheelers. But my grandparents got old and sold the farm. We also raised pheasants, about 100 or so. We would sell them to hunters.”

Minnesota has a lot of ponds. Did you play pond hockey?

“We played on ponds and outdoor rinks. Once I tried to make a rink in the yard. I dug out a little area and filled it with water, but it didn’t work. When we had a (concrete) slab poured in front of the garage, we played there a lot. My parents didn’t like it though because when you missed the net you put dents in the garage doors.”

Did you get in trouble?

“Yeah. We had a five-car garage with aluminum doors and they would dent. We’d have to pound out the dents and repaint the doors. Before that it was wood doors and they just had to be replaced.”

Where did people work in Woodbury?

“In St. Paul. That’s where everything was. The Best Buy headquarters was there, so was 3M, General Mills and Anderson Windows.”

What pro teams are popular in Woodbury?

“The Twins, Vikings and Wild. The North Stars were huge before they moved.”

Do you get homesick?

“A little bit. We go back every summer. When I went to school in Denver I fell in love with that place, so I miss that area, too. But Minnesota is great. I love it.”

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