Bobby Trivigno, UMass hockey’s one of a kind captain, named Hockey East tournament MVP for 2nd year in a row

  • UMass forward Bobby Trivigno, second from right, is embraced by teammates, from right, Colin Felix, Josh Lopina and Aaron Bohlinger, after scoring a goal in the second period against UConn in Saturday’s Hockey East championship game at TD Garden in Boston.  THOM KENDALL/UMASS ATHLETICS

  • UMass captain Bobby Trivigno was first to lift the Lamoriello Trophy for the second year in a row after the Minutemen defended their Hockey East tournament championship. They defeated UConn 2-1 on Saturday night in Boston. THOM KENDALL/UMASS ATHLETICS

  • UMass forward Bobby Trivigno was named the Hockey East Tournament MVP for the second season in a row. The Minutemen defeated UConn 2-1 in the championship game. THOM KENDALL/UMASS ATHLETICS

Staff Writer
Monday, March 28, 2022

BOSTON — Somehow, Bobby Trivigno keeps making history at UMass.

The Minutemen’s senior captain was named the Hockey East tournament MVP for the second consecutive season Saturday after his two points helped UMass defend its conference crown in a 2-1 victory over UConn at TD Garden. He scored the game-tying goal 16 minutes, 6 seconds into the second period and threw an on-point, no-look back-handed pass to Aaron Bohlinger for the overtime winner.

Only one other player has ever won the award in consecutive years: UMass Lowell goalie Connor Hellebuyck in 2013 and 2014 — also the last time a team repeated as conference champions.

Trivigno finished with five points and three goals in three Hockey East tournament games, securing his spot on the all-tournament team for the second consecutive year.

“He’s the most unique kid I’ve ever coached. It’s not even close. He never gets tired. He never gets out willed. Never, never, never. Every single day, he’s the hardest working kid,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “He has a fire inside him that’s unmatched. Not even close.”

UMass next turns to the NCAA Hockey Tournament, where they couldn’t ask for a more comfortable environment to open their campaign.

The Minutemen are the No. 3 seed in the Northeast Regional, which will be hosted at the DCU Center in Worcester, less than 60 miles from the campus in Amherst.

“I’m guessing it will feel like a home ice advantage,” UMass coach Greg Carvel said. “Pretty damn good for NCAA Regionals. I think it’s a good situation for us.”

The Minutemen face No. 2 Minnesota at 6 p.m. Friday (ESPNU) in the opening round.

All aspects of Trivigno’s game were on display against the Huskies on Saturday. He showed his vision on the game-winning assist, his patience on the tying goal and his petulance almost constantly. Trivigno burrows deep inside his opponents’ psyches throughout the game. The 5-foot-8 senior from Setauket, N.Y. frustrates them with his effort and drive but additionally with a choice word or a push maybe after a whistle.

UConn’s Chase Bradley shoved him from behind, knocking him to the ice 11:16 into the game to draw an interference penalty after Trivigno shrugged off a Nick Capone check attempt, sending Capone flying down to the ice.

“It’s the same thing every game. I’m a pest on the ice, and I expect to get it back,” Trivigno said, as a wordless smile spread broadly over Carvel’s face at the postgame interview podium. “I just try to focus and be mentally strong and let it fuel me and continue to outwork the opponent and let it frustrate them.”

He’s the reigning Hockey East player of the year and a Hobey Baker top 10 finalist. Trivigno was named a first-team All-American last season and won the Frozen Four most outstanding player award during UMass’ national championship run. 

My development here and success at UMass is in large part to my teammates and coaches. I’m just very grateful to have been a part of it,” Trivigno said, holding his voice together as it shook. “They took a chance on me when no one else was going to. Coming here was the best decision of my life.”

All of this from a player that UMass didn’t initially offer a full scholarship to. He didn’t have any other offers.

“No one else was even talking to him. (Former UMass assistant, now Maine head coach) Ben Barr knew what was inside this kid,” Carvel said. “I have so much respect for this kid. He’s really special.”