by Jashvina Shah
Carl and Sharon Tuch are cheering for the Golden Knights right now. Just a few years ago they were cheering for Boston College, and in a few years they’ll be rooting for its rival, Boston University.
They’ve always cheered for their children, no matter what the school. So when their son Alex played at Boston College, they were Eagles fans. And when their younger son, Luke, will attend Boston University in 2021, they’ll be Terriers fans.
The Tuch family grew up in the same neighborhood as the parents of former NHLer Tim Connolly, so playing hockey was the area tradition. Luke was just 21 months old when he started skating, taking the ice with Alex, who was six at the time.
Luke played for the Syracuse Nationals for eight seasons before transitioning to the Buffalo Jr. Sabres for his 16U year. He played in 36 games and recorded 12 goals and 27 points. But Luke ran into trouble when he separated his shoulder at the end of the season.
“Sitting back and watching the guys play, it’s definitely a lot harder,” Luke said. “I’m just itching to get out on the ice, but I see a lot of different things watching from the bench, just picking up the little details that you don’t usually see when you’re actually playing.”
Luke missed the end of states and then nationals with his injury.
“It’s just like how he deals with everything,” Carl said. “He just goes to work and he’s a very hard worker and he understands that there’s only one thing that you can control in hockey or in life, and that’s how hard you work. So that’s how he deals with anything, is just to work hard.”
He was invited to attend the U17 National Team Development Program camp. Despite being forced to sit out with his lingering injury, Luke made the U17 team.
“It was great,” Luke said. “I learned a lot. I was hurt though, but I got to sit back, meet a lot of the good guys and just prepare myself.”
Luke considers himself a power forward with physicality as his best attribute. He’s working on his skating and improving his stickhandling.
“He’s a complete player, I think that’s how I would describe him,” Carl said. “It’s not just his shot or his skating or his offense or his defense. I’d say he’s a 200-foot, complete player.”
Luke also completed the recruiting process this season. After visiting Ohio State, Michigan State, Cornell, North Dakota, Colorado College and Boston University, he chose the Terriers because of the coaching staff and his previous affinity to the city.
“He had a lot of guidance from me, and his older brother has gone through it, so we basically came up with criteria,” Carl said. “What’s important to him for a school and what’s important to him as a hockey player and go through the process like that. Just more of a rifle shot approach than a shotgun approach, because they come at you from everywhere. So just try not to get overwhelmed, try not to get distracted and just focus on what’s important to you.”
Not only did Alex help Luke during the recruiting process, but attending Boston College from 2014-16 helped Luke gain exposure to the city, probably leading a path for Luke to attend his rival school.
“It’s going to be a rivalry but my brother’s really happy for me and he was happy wherever I went,” Luke said.
Photo credit: Hickling Images