My name is Matt Gilliland. I am part of the 2020 graduating class for Pinkerton Academy. I have finished my freshman year with a 91 GPA and acquired honors all four quarters. I am considering a possible career in Engineering. During my sophomore year, I will be taking some courses at Pinkerton in that field.
I have been playing hockey since I was eight years old. As a Mite, Squirt & Peewee, I played for the New Hampshire Saints Organization and skated out as a defenseman. However, I played goalie whenever I had the opportunity. I started playing full time goalie when I was eleven and never looked back. I love playing goalie and was fortunate to play in net for many organizations including the Northern Cyclones, Top Gun, New Hampshire Jr. Monarchs, and the New Hampshire Avalanche. When I was playing goalie with the Cyclones, our team won the AA title and I was named the playoff MVP. Although I was excited to win, I felt like I should be playing goalie at a higher level. The following year, I played AAA with Top Gun while practicing with Elite Avalanche. The year after that, I played Premier hockey with the NH Jr. Monarchs with dreams of playing High School hockey. Working hard in the off season with GDS and 3-on-3, I secured a spot on U18 Avalanche which played a big part in being selected as the backup Varsity goalie for Pinkerton Academy my freshman year. After freshman year I played on the U18 Avalanche again and worked hard every game to play in a best of 3 series to go to the National championship in April which we won 2 games to 1 with the tie breaker game being a 46 save shut out. Which in the National Championship I was ranked 4th for save percentage .896 and won 1 out of the 2 games I played in. I am working harder than ever to become the starting goalie at Pinkerton and can’t wait for the season to start to show the coaching staff how much better I have gotten since last season.
I am constantly looking to learn and develop as a goalie. I trained my first year as goalie with Ed Walsh and 3 years with Kevin Moore, a former GDS goalie coach who is currently the goalie coach at Princeton University. For the past several seasons, I have been working with Brian Foster, a former all American goalie for UNH and draft pick for the Florida Panthers. During the summer, I continue training with other GDS coaches including Mike Buckley, goaltending development coach for the Pittsburgh Penguins. I train during the summer 2 days a week for 8 weeks while keeping up with weekly off ice training in my basement.
Throughout the year, I like to give back and volunteer my time to help others. Over the past three years, I’ve been assisting Kevin and Brian train goalies of all ages. I particularly like working with the younger goalies as it helps me reinforce the fundamentals to become a better goalie. I feel you don’t really know a subject until you can teach it to someone else. I am playing hockey year-round and love being on the ice.
In those small breaks, when I’m not playing hockey, I like to stay active by play baseball. I am a pitcher, catcher and first baseman. I played for the AAU Hurricanes, AAU Granite Heat, Derry All Stars where I lead the league in home runs, Middle School team all 3 years where I was given the coaches award for highest OBP. I am currently playing Derry Babe Ruth and U15 Derry AAU.
On a personal note, I live with my mom, dad, and younger sister Allison. We are a close-knit family and I also spend time with my extended family. We travel to upstate NY often to visit my cousins who have a lake house on Lake Cayuga. We go boating, tubing, and jet ski. I live in an awesome neighborhood where everyone is so supportive of each other. It is like a second family. We have huge block parties with waterslides and outdoor games. I babysit some of the neighborhood boys for extra spending money.
I love the game of hockey and would consider playing college hockey anywhere at any division. What matters is that I continue playing competitive hockey for as long as I can.