By Brett Batchelor
The Birmingham Bulls made a flurry of signings in the recent offseason, and many of the new players have made a big splash in their first season in Birmingham. One new defenseman that has really made an impact in the red and black is Taylor Brierley. Standing at 5 '10 and 174 pounds, Brierley has quickly made himself known in the locker room and around the SPHL. Through the first three weeks of the season, Brierley has assisted on three goals, and when asked about what helped contribute to his early success, Brierley immediately gave props to his teammates. “We have a lot of great players on this team, so just the opportunity to play with them has had a huge impact right away.”
Brierley also feels that he has made Birmingham a second home for him, making the transition into professional hockey a lot more easy. “The staff, front office, and the fans have been incredible. It has really helped me and helped to make Alabama feel like home.” Brierley is originally from East Grand Forks, Minnesota, but was excited to make the trip down south and play hockey in a much warmer state. “My first thoughts about living and playing hockey in Alabama were about the weather. I’m so used to having cold winters covered with a lot of snow.” However, Brierley is really enjoying the weather and playing hockey in a southern state. “It is really nice to be able to wear shorts and a t-shirt to the rink”, noted Brierley.
Brierley mentioned that if he wasn’t playing hockey, baseball would be his sport. “I would definitely be playing baseball. I always played baseball in the spring and summer.” However, hockey is deep rooted in him and goes as far back in his childhood as he can remember. “Growing up in Minnesota, playing hockey was just something that everyone did. By the time I was two years old, I already had skates on.” Brierley also noted how it was his dad that he would spend a lot of time playing the sport as a kid. “My dad would always make a rink in our backyard, so he and I would spend a lot of time out there on the ice together.”
The transition to becoming a professional can be tough, but there are a few players who have helped Brierley make the transition easier into professional hockey. “Mackenzie (Dwyer) and Timo (Timofeyev) are some of the funniest guys in the locker room. They always have something funny to say that will bring a smile to my face.” Since becoming a pro, Brierley has found inspiration from his family and new teammates during this new chapter of his life.
“I would say my family is what drives and inspires me to play. With hockey being such a big part of my life, I have so many great memories with family and friends, so I feel like I am always striving to make more. There is something so special about being with a group of guys who are all so invested in doing the same thing. That energy is so contagious.”
This week when the Bulls take on the Macon Mayhem the road and Evansville Thunderbolts in Birmingham, keep your eye out for number six. A bright rookie who has made a big impact on the Birmingham Bulls just might become your new favorite player. The Bulls will be back on the road this Thursday taking on the Macon Mayhem before a weekend home series versus the Evansville Thunderbolts. Call the front office at 205-620-6870 to order your season tickets or visit the website at bullshockey.net to order your tickets and to stay up to date on all Birmingham Bulls news, articles, videos, and more.