St. Mary’s Gael going for Gold with U.S. men’s hockey team in PyeongChang

St. Mary’s Gael going for Gold with U.S. men’s hockey team in PyeongChang
St. Mary's alumnis Matt Gilroy played for Boston University and multiple National Hockey League teams before being named to the U.S. men's hockey team for the 2018 Winter Olympics in PeyongChang, South Korea. (Photo courtesy of Boston University Athletics)

A St. Mary’s alumnus is spending the month in PyeongChang, South Korea, to play for the United States men’s hockey team in the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

Brother Kenneth and St. Mary’s alumnus Matt Gilroy pose during a recent visit. (Photo courtesy of Eileen Symmons)

North Bellmore native Matt Gilroy, 33, is spending the month proudly sporting the red, white and blue uniform and representing his country in a sport he has played since he was 9 years old.

During his time at St. Mary’s in Manhasset, director of communications Eileen Symmons said, Gilroy was named MVP in 2003 and helped his team capture two hockey state titles before his graduation in 2003.

Gilroy also played lacrosse at St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s is proud to support Matt Gilroy and watch him fulfill a dream of a lifetime,” Symmons said. “His hard work and perseverance over the years has certainly paid off and we couldn’t be more excited for Matt and Team USA. The school hosted a celebratory breakfast in his honor on February 14 where over 200 students, including the current hockey team and faculty members were able to watch the first game together as a community.”

Matt Gilroy will wear No. 97 for Team USA in honor of his late brother, Timmy. (Photo courtesy of Boston University Athletics)

Symmons said the No. 97 hockey jersey Gilroy wore at Boston University proudly hangs in the Brother Kenneth Robert Gymnasium nearly a decade after his college graduation in 2009.

Gilroy will continue to wear No. 97 for Team USA, a number that he wears in remembrance of his brother Timmy, who died after a bicycle accident when he was 8 years old. The brothers played on the same teams growing up. Matt donned 98 while his brother was always 97 in homage to Wayne Gretzky.

In college, Boston allowed him to continue the tradition, though high numbers are usually banned, and the tradition will continue in South Korea.

During his time at Boston, Gilroy was honored as the second player in the university’s history to win the Hobey Baker Memorial Award, given to the best player in college hockey, as well as the Walter Brown Award for the best American-born hockey player in New England.

Gilroy was later inducted into the Boston University Hall of Fame with the Class of 2017.

Though Gilroy went undrafted by the NHL, he played more than 200 games with various teams, including the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers from 2009 through 2014.

Gilroy has spent time in the Kontinental Hockey League since June 2014, including time on Atlant Moscow Oblast and Spartak Moscow.

Team USA defeated Slovakia 5-1 Tuesday to advance to the quarterfinals against the Czech Republic at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday in South Korea, or 10 p.m. Tuesday for New York viewers.

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