Tim Gould, a 3.75 star prospect, recently committed to Maine. The defenseman is currently playing for the Notre Dame Hounds of the SMHL, where he has 31 points through 42 games. The New Brunswick native is slated to play for the Black Bears in 2019.
Neutral Zone chatted with Gould about his youth hockey career and the NCAA recruitment process.
Neutral Zone: How and when did you start playing hockey?
Tim Gould: I first started my minor hockey in Riverview NB at the age of five, which would have been initiation.
NZ: What’s your earliest memory from playing hockey?
TG: The first times I would have skated was on my backyard rink when I was about two or three years old. My dad would build one every year for me and my brothers
NZ: What was your youth hockey experience liked?
TG: My youth hockey had its ups and downs. I was cut a lot as a kid, and then first year bantam at the age of 13 I moved away from home to attend a school in Ottawa call CIH Academy where I spent two years before moving onto Athol Murray college of Notre Dame in Saskatchewan. My first year at ND, I made their bottom AAA team the Argos, where I had a very hard year because I wasn’t really able to keep up with the pace of play and so I didn’t play very much. But I returned the next year to make the top team on campus, the Hounds, and I had a very successful breakout year.
NZ: How did you end up in the SJHL?
TG: After my two years in midget at Notre Dame, I graduated a year early because I skipped a grade. Without attending the school, I wasn’t allowed be a part of its midget program. But I still wanted to play in a good league that was scouted by the NCAA, so they gave me an opportunity with the SJHL team that was on campus.
NZ: Take us through the NCAA recruitment process. What other schools were you talking to and where did you visit?
TG: My top three schools I talked to and would want to attend were Maine, Merrimack, and Bemidji State. I had an offer from Alaska-Anchorage as well, but I didn’t feel that would be the right fit seeing how it is just too far away from home. Maine, and Merrimack were the two schools that I toured.
NZ: What made you decide to commit to Maine? What went into that decision for you and your family to know it was the right place?
TG: The University of Maine is only a four-hour drive from my house in New Brunswick, which was definitely a factor because I haven’t played close to home in five years. Also the coaches and staff at the school made me feel like I was at home. It’s a small school, which I felt I needed because I am from New Brunswick and have lived in small communities my whole life. And of course, the hockey program at Maine is outstanding and it seems to be getting back on track to where it once had been, when it was winning national championships.
NZ: What’s the strangest thing you’ve seen while playing hockey?
TG: Well playing this year way up in northern Saskatchewan, we had an away game in La Ronge, and with five minutes to play in this tiny barn, all the lights went out and there was no power. We were forced to leave and not finish the game. Later we learned that a beaver had chewed down one of the main power polls in a windstorm. So the next time we went up to play them we finished our five-minute game and then played a whole other game right after.
NZ: What’s the best piece of advice anyone’s given you in hockey?
TG: Just don’t give up and you have to put the work in to get a reward out of it. After being cut so many times or sitting on the bench, I had to work for everything I have today and I’m so happy I never gave up on it, because hard work does pay off in the end.
NZ: What are your best on-ice skills?
TG: I see myself as an offensive two-way defenseman. I see the ice well and can make plays and when needed I have soft hands that can take over.
NZ: What aspect of your game are you working on improving the most?
TG: I need to work on my first three strides and my strength off the ice. I also need to work on being able to contain and pin bigger players
NZ: Is there a professional player you model your game after?
My favorite player is Morgan Rielly, and I try to play like he does. I like his offensive abilities and he’s also good in his own zone with quick transitions.
NZ: Who’s been the biggest influence in your hockey career?
TG: My biggest supporters in hockey definitely have been my parents. They are the ones who allowed me to move away from home so young to pursue my dreams.
NZ: What’s the toughest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?
TG: My midget first year was a hard year for me. My coach was dedicated to helping me improve as a player, but in saying that, I didn’t play very much that year. I sat on the bench quite a bit and it was hard. But I think that just made me work that much harder because it wasn’t fun and I believed that I could have had more potential and more of an impact.
NZ: What’s the toughest challenge you’ve faced in life?
TG: Living away from home for so long and at such a young age hasn’t been easy. It has had its ups and downs. I think it was for the better, as I got a better school education along with more opportunities in hockey as well.