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At BC, Tuch And Gilmour Playing In Big Games

by Julie Robenhymer / Minnesota Wild

Boston College Head Coach Jerry York demands excellence from his players.

It's why the Eagles have advanced to the Frozen Four 12 times and won the national championship four times in his 22 years behind the bench in Chestnut Hill.

It's that expectation of excellence that made Minnesota Wild prospects Adam Gilmour and Alex Tuch want to be Eagles.

"I remember watching the 2001 National Championship game," said Tuch, a 6-foot-4, 220 pound winger selected 18th in the 2012 NHL Draft. "I remember seeing those gold jerseys and I remember wanting to be on this team and play in the Frozen Four and win a National Championship."

The Eagles defeated Harvard and Minnesota-Duluth in their Northeast Regional games to advance to the Frozen Four, but fell 3-2 to Quinnipiac, the top ranked team in the country, in the national semifinal at Amalie Arena in Tampa, FL on Thursday.

As with every loss, there was a lesson in defeat.

"You learn how to handle your nerves," said Tuch. "If we had a better start and not made those mistakes that led to their two goals in the first period, we could have won this game. Tough time to learn a good lesson, but I won't forget this."

Neither will Gilmour, selected 98th overall in the 2012 NHL Draft.

"You come to BC to play in these big games that are possibly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said the 22-year-old junior. "Win or lose, all of these big games help you become a better hockey player."

Improvement is the goal during these development years, and that's exactly what Tuch and Gilmour have been able to do under York's guidance the past two and three years, respectively.

"What I'm most proud of this year, in terms of my game, is playing better defensively and getting into lanes and blocking shots," Gilmour said.

Tuch said he learned how important it is to prepare at a high level, especially when not getting off to a fast start in his sophomore year as an Eagle.

"My practice mentality got a lot better this year," Tuch said. "I worked a lot harder and battled harder and tried to dominate in practice, and it carried over into games, and really helped me get better in the second half of the year."

Tuch, who recorded 18 goals and 16 assists for 34 points in 40 games this season, sprained his MCL in early August at USA Hockey's National Junior Team Evaluation Camp, forcing him to take off four weeks right before the start of the season.

He said he is aiming for a more effective off-season this summer.

"In the second half of the year, I was a lot more comfortable [with my knee], and was able to use my speed and strength and drive the puck wide a lot more, and put the defenders on their heels, and I want to be able to do more of that next season by working hard in the weight room this summer," he said.

Gilmour, who had 12 goals and 14 assists for 26 points in 41 games this season, said he will also be in the weight room this summer looking to add size to his 6-foot-3, 195 pound frame.

"I want to put on more weight, lean down on my body fat and get some mass on my body so I'm prepared to handle the grind of a long season," he said. "It just eats away at your body and if you don't have a good starting point, you're going to be really frail by the end of it. So, that's where my focus will be this summer."

While they said they want to improve as individuals, it's also all about doing whatever you can to help the team find success.

"I don't know anyone who doesn't want to be a winner," said Tuch. "That's why you come to BC — to win — but they don't just give it to you. You have to earn it."

Gilmour shared similar sentiments reflecting on the teammate and coaching staff accountability front.

"It's our responsibility to live up to those expectations of success and make sure we pass it on to each freshman class that comes through here," Gilmour said.

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