April 10, 2009
Weighart: Senior Celebration - Gilroy's Teammates Reflect On Hobey Win
WASHINGTON - Boston University senior Matt Gilroy was named the 2009 recipient of the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to the top player in collegiate hockey, on Friday evening at the Verizon Center. Freshman Kieran Millan was named the national rookie of the year, while sophomore Colin Wilson joined Gilroy as a first-team All-American and classmate Kevin Shattenkirk earned a second-team nod.
Captain of the Hockey East regular season and playoff champion Terriers, Gilroy has enjoyed an incredible season, culminating with BU entering the NCAA Frozen Four national championship as the No. 1 seed, after being ranked No. 1 in the national polls for a good portion of the season. The senior defenseman from North Bellmore, N.Y., becomes the second BU skater to be honored with the Hobey after Chris Drury won in 1998.
The Hobey Baker Award, named for the legendary Princeton hockey player who was known as America's greatest amateur athlete of his era, died testing a repaired aircraft at the end of World War I. Hobey criteria includes strength of character on and off the ice, displaying outstanding skills in all phases of the game, sportsmanship and scholastic achievements. Gilroy was selected from a group of 10 finalists by the votes of a 25-member selection committee, along with the results of an online fan ballot.
A pro hockey free agent, Gilroy turned down several pro contract offers last summer, returning to complete his collegiate career. And what a year it's been. Logging plenty of ice time each game, he tallied a total of 36 points on 8 goals and 28 assists in 43 games, with 24 of his points coming on the road. He led all defenseman in scoring in Hockey East and presently ranks third among all defensemen in the nation.
Gilroy was recognized as a First Team all-star in Hockey East, becoming the first defenseman in league history to be so honored three times. Post-season accolades continued as Matt was recently named the recipient of the Walter Brown Award as the best American-born college player in New England. Not bad for a guy whose career began as a walk-on. He has now played in a remarkable 145 consecutive games.
Gilroy was all-tourney at the Northeast Regional and has a brother Kevin, who is a freshman forward with the Terriers. Matt wears number 97 to honor his deceased brother Timmy. The Gilroy family runs a summer basketball league on Long Island during the summer. Matt also volunteers with the Autism Speaks program and was a driving force behind the "Starr of the Game" benefit to honor long-time BU booster Meryl Starr Herman who passed away after a battle with cancer. A management studies major, his dad Frank played basketball at St. John's and was a Philadelphia 76ers draft pick.
Gilroy becomes the first Hockey East player to win the award since Boston College's Mike Mottau in 2000. He is the seventh Hockey East player to win the award.
Wilson joined Gilroy on the Reebok Division I All-America East Team. Wilson leads the Terriers and is second in the nation in scoring with 55 points (17g, 38a). His 1.31 points per game are second in the nation as well. The sophomore forward from Winnipeg, Man., was named a first-team Hockey East All-Star in 2009.
Shattenkirk earned a second-team nod on the East squad. The sophomore defenseman from New Rochelle, N.Y., registered a career-high 27 points (7g, 20a) and was an alternate captain of the United States team in the World Junior Championships in January.