New York Rangers at the 2010 Olympics

Matt Gilroy's World Championship Journal

Matt Gilroy
Matt Gilroy
Canadian Perspective from Chad Johnson

Rangers defenseman Matt Gilroy, who played 69 games as a rookie with the Blueshirts in 2009-10, is closing out his season as a member of Team USA at the 2010 World Championship tournament in Germany. Gilroy, 25, is making his first appearance at a major international men's tournament after being honored by USA Hockey with a spot on the American roster on April 15.

A native of North Bellmore, N.Y., Gilroy grew up playing hockey on Long Island, and his story is a truly remarkable tale of success. A late bloomer, Gilroy was passed over in the NHL Draft and was not offered a scholarship to any established Division I program. He chose to go attend Boston University, where he made the team as a walk-on and left four years later the best player in college hockey.

Gilroy's career has already included the Hobey Baker Award, a First Team All-America selection, an NCAA championship with the Terriers, and a roster spot on the Rangers coming out of his first NHL training camp. In Germany this month, he will be gaining valuable experience against world-class opposition that should give him a big head start into his sophomore season with the Blueshirts.

As he takes part in Team USA's pursuit of gold, Gilroy has offered to share his experiences with readers here on newyorkrangers.com.

Latest Post: May 11, 2010

We met as a team in Chicago a week ago Sunday and flew to Frankfurt together and then on to Paris. We then took a two-hour bus ride to get to Amiens, France, where we played an exhibition game against France last Tuesday.

France is very different than the U.S. The food was very different. The town was very small. Very few people spoke English. In the end it was a good trip as we got a win. We left Amiens the next day for a five-hour bus trip to get to Cologne, our home base for the tournament.

Cologne feels more like home. The food is similar. It’s a big city. And there are a lot of English-speaking people.

We played our first game in Gelsenkirchen, which is about a 90-minute bus ride from Cologne. While we were really disappointed to lose the game, I don’t think I’ll ever experience something like that again. The party before the game outside was really something.

Inside the stadium, everyone was booing us, but it was a pretty special feeling being out there in front of almost 80,000 people. It’s really an indescribable feeling.

We came back to Cologne and played Denmark, a game which we lost in overtime. We need to get some offense going. One goal a game is not going to do it. Once we get the puck to go in a few times, we’ll get some confidence going and be fine. We have a big game tomorrow against the Finns, which will decide if we’ll advance to the qualification round.

I haven’t had a lot of time to do any sightseeing, nor have I felt like it, to be honest. We did go downtown and out to eat one night, but I think we’re just now feeling like we’re adjusted from the time difference and all the travel.

Thanks for reading this, and go USA! It’s really exciting to represent my country.