April 10, 2009 PRINT Bookmark and Share

No Free Rides: Gilroy Thrived Despite Obstacles

by Matthew Conyers/CHN Staff Writer

(photos: Paige Ozaroski)

(photos: Paige Ozaroski)

PICTORIAL: Frozen Four Friday (see full pictorial)

Matt Gilroy comes up to accept his Hobey Baker Award.

BU senior defenseman Matt Gilroy wins the Hobey Baker Award, while Northeastern's Missy Elumba earned the Hockey Humanitarian Award. It was the second Hobey for BU, following Chris Drury in 1998. (photos: Paige Ozaroski)

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Before the winner of the 2009 Hobey Baker award was announced, sophomore Colin Wilson leaned down and whispered over to teammate Matt Gilroy.

“We told each other we better mention the other one in the speech if we do win,” Wilson said.

This time, the stage belonged to Gilroy.

The Boston University senior captain was named the 28th winner beating out Wilson and familiar foe Northeastern goalie Brad Thiessen. Gilroy was also the CHN Player of the Year.

“There is no way, I could’ve imagined this,” Gilroy said. “Four years ago I was sitting on my couch with my mom and dad talking after my junior career was over wondering what was next. I think I emailed every team in the country. ... I think I called every team in the country.

"No one was interested at all.”

On the season, Gilroy has 8 eight goals and 28 assists for 36 points. He also has two game-winning goals. He did all that without a scholarship. Boston University, along with the rest of the college hockey world, thought Gilroy was going pro after his junior year and decided to use his scholarship on another play in hopes of helping the team.

“I called coach and said what is up?” Gilroy said. “I was pretty surprised.”

“I definitely will have to pay my dad back for a while.”

Gilroy has 25 goals, 66 assists and 91 points in 159 games on his career.

Gilroy arrived at Boston University only after the Terriers offered him a chance to walk-on. But there was a condition. Gilroy, who was a forward, needed to switch to defense.

“To be honest, I was in sure panic when I was given the option to move back to defense,” Gilroy said. “I said yes automatically and I thought, 'What did I just do?'”

But the Terriers had given Gilroy a shot. No matter how difficult it was going to be, the New York native was making a go for it.

“A powerhouse like BU gave me a chance and all I can say is thank you.”

The move paid off. Although initially, it did bring its own unique struggles.

“When I was a freshman and sophomore, it was just panic,” Gilroy said.

With a few months under his belt, Gilroy started to perk up, with eight points on two goals and six assists. His play improved considerably his second year, and he earned All-Hockey East honors. And with that, he finally was rewarded with a full scholarship. With that under his belt, his junior year was even better.

Then arrived this magical season. Gilroy helped lead the Terriers to wins in every tournament it has played in. And the year could finish with a beautiful capper — an NCAA Tournament Championship.

In a season that has been one to remember, Gilroy credits Wilson for making the award even sweeter.

“I wouldn’t be up there without Colin,” Gilroy said. “Everyone is having their best years.”

At this point, there’s just one thing left for Gilroy to do before he heads back to his parents couch.

“It’s not a dream season yet,” Gilroy said.

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