ATHLETE PROFILE: Dan Gilmour
Two weeks ago, the Tartans’ club ice hockey team drew a crowd to see the team play Bucknell University in its final home game of the season. Last weekend, the team left for Buffalo, where it lost 7–0 in the first round of the College Hockey Association playoffs. Before the players left, The Tartan sat down with senior captain and center Dan Gilmour to talk about his performances and the team’s season.
Tartan: When did you first start playing hockey?
Gilmour: I started teaching myself street and roller hockey when I was really young, and then when I was about eight I started playing on open ice. I didn’t get too competitive until middle school; I started playing on my high school’s team when I was in eighth grade.
T: How well has the team’s season gone, and what kind of outcome are you hoping for in the playoffs?
G: We have a really solid group of guys, but we honestly know that several of the teams that will be there are a lot better than us. We’re just hoping to play well and maybe get a couple of upsets in the first two rounds.
T: Ice hockey is a club sport. What are some of the biggest differences between your team and a varsity team?
G: Well, for one thing, we, the players, run the team, which is kind of a time commitment. I was president my sophomore and junior year, so it does take time, but that aspect of it is great. For example, we schedule all of our own games and practices, so we can steer around having athletic conflicts around exams and spring and fall break.
Also, our coaches are strictly volunteers. Our head coach has been here for, I think, 16 years, and we have two other alumni that act as assistant coaches. Overall, we’re very independent as a team.
T: How much of an overall time commitment do you have to the team?
G: We usually have one on-ice practice. We don’t have a rink nearby, so we travel about a half-hour to practice, and then two games per week. It isn’t too much, but our games are usually weekend games, and we have to travel a lot, so losing every weekend between September and March can get frustrating.
T: Do you have anyplace in particular you like to travel to with the team?
G: Not really. We do travel a lot, but not far. Usually like Erie, Buffalo, Akron, Cleveland — nowhere pretty or fun.
T: Are there any accomplishments you are particularly proud of?
G: Well I have been a three-year captain here, and I got to play in the College Hockey All-Star East game, which was great. When I was younger I got to play on the ice at the Johnstown War Memorial; it’s just a really historic rink and amazing place to get to play.
T: Do you have a most memorable game?
G: Not really. Our game last weekend with Bucknell was really nice, though. We lost, but both my parents got to come, and a lot of people came out to see the game. Plus we had really good ice time. A lot of times we play later at night, and when you’re younger you get up at around three in the morning sometimes just to get ice time. It was just exciting.