Defining Net Worth
In Sunday’s Central States Collegiate Hockey League Tournament final against Iowa State, senior forward Tyler Pilmore was checked over the boards and into the Cyclones’ bench during a shift in the first period.
The captain, though shaken up, climbed back over the boards and stayed on the ice until the next line change.
Moments like that are why Pilmore is more than Ohio’s all-time leader in points. He’s the captain of the fourth-ranked team in the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
“(Pilmore) is going to be the first guy in the corner, and he’s going to be the first guy getting the puck,” senior forward Nick Rostek said. “He plays like a maniac.”
And coach Dan Morris knows his captain will never be afraid to get dirty.
“He gets into the tough areas,” Morris said. “He gets into the areas that a lot of people don’t want to go to, and he gets rewarded because he usually wins those battles.”
Rostek, Pilmore and fellow forward junior Brett Agnew make up a Bobcat first line that Morris said could match up well against any other line in the country. But Pilmore’s tenacity helps Rostek and Agnew on the ice.
Pilmore’s stat line shows he’s all about making life easier for his teammates. He has averaged 40 assists during his four years with the Bobcats, driving home the team joke that he’s a better passer than goal scorer.
“He’s in the weight room, he’s practicing and he’s getting better to help us win a championship,” Rostek said. “It’s all towards our main goal, which is to win a national championship.”
After an assist on a Rostek goal that gave the Bobcats a 3-0 lead against Indiana in the first game of the tournament, Pilmore earned Ohio’s all-time record with 219 points, causing him to pass Morris, who has held the mark since 1997.
The record began to weigh on the captain as the season progressed.
“It was impossible for it not to be (on my mind),” Pilmore said. “It wasn’t one of my goals. My main goal was to win a national championship and as many championships as we could throughout the season. But it was mostly on my mind when it got close.”
Even when he finally did break it, Pilmore said he wasn’t really aware because he and the team were so focused on defeating Indiana and moving on to the next round of the tournament.
But even after becoming the all-time leading point scorer in program history, he declined to take all the credit and said this isn’t solely an individual record. Pilmore said Morris and his teammates have all played a role in his success.
“Coach has been wonderful,” he said. “He’s made me into a better hockey player, and these four years, he’s helped me with so much stuff on and off the ice.
“And of course, there’s every guy that I’ve played with. My linemates, guys like Nick Rostek, (former Bobcat) Michael Schultz and Brett Agnew. If it wasn’t for those guys, I’d be nowhere near that record.”
More than anyone, Pilmore credits his parents, who he said have supported him in whatever he’s chosen to do and are his heroes.
Pilmore’s humility is no surprise to Morris, who said he knows his captain truly feels that he couldn’t have done it on his own.
“That’s what you want out of a leader,” Morris said. “He’s very humble when it comes to (the record), and he’s not just saying those things. He really believes those things and thinks about those things.”
And Rostek, who has become close with Pilmore during the past three years, said he is proud to call Pilmore his teammate.
“He’s the hardest working on the team, he’s the best player on the team and he’s deserved all the success he’s had, and then some,” he said.