Trento becoming a valuable asset for UMass hockey

By Jason Kates

(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)
(Cade Belisle/Daily Collegian)

As one of 10 freshmen on the Massachusetts hockey team, forward Dominic Trento has started to provide valuable minutes for UMass as the season continues to wind down.

Trento, a native of Brockport, New York, has recorded three points in his last two games for the Minutemen (8-17-1, 3-12-1 Hockey East), including a goal and an assist in the recent 4-1 victory over Merrimack College.

“I think his game has really taken a step, probably from the first Boston College game at BC,” coach John Micheletto said.

“His game has gotten better and better, and he has earned his way in the penalty kill and gotten some power play time. I think he’s learned what it takes to be successful at this level.”

Micheletto added that with his skill set and work ethic, Trento has continued to gain confidence with the additional playing time, and is pleased with the recent offensive production.

Trento has attributed his current success out on the ice to his teammates.

“I think it has a lot to do with my line mates,” he said. “One is Patty (Lee), who also happens to be my roommate. I think we’ve just built a lot of chemistry together throughout the school year.

“We’ve just gotten a chance to play together and we see each other well on the ice, so I think that has a lot to do with it.”

Lee said there wasn’t a lot in common between the two when they first met each other, but have been able to develop their friendship through playing together for UMass.

“We were pretty polar opposites at the start of the year, but it kind of worked out for the best,” Lee said.

“We’re best friends on the team and we get to play together and live together, so it’s worked out perfectly.”

As the season progresses, Trento continues to receive more time on the ice, and as a freshman, Micheletto thinks the depth that he brings is critical.

“When you have 10 freshmen, it’s really important to have guys like Brandon Montour, Dennis Kravchenko, Dominic Trento and Patrick Lee,” Micheletto said.

“You just go down the list of guys that are playing in key situations, particularly man-up and man-down, and it’s not only comforting to be able to do that, but necessary. I’m glad Dominic has pushed his game to be one of those guys because we need him to be one.”

It hasn’t all been positive for Trento, though.

In a game versus Boston College on Nov. 21, the freshman suffered a hand injury that kept him sidelined for over a month. He returned for the Minutemen’s first game of the Catamount Cup on Dec. 28 against Providence College.

For him, watching from the sideline wasn’t easy.

“It wasn’t much fun sitting out, especially when the team wasn’t doing so well,” Trento said. “When it’s your freshman year and you have to sit out seven or eight games, especially to an injury that seemed tedious, that was hard.”

“It was a learning experience, watching and trying to think about ways I could contribute for the team. It’s good to be back for sure.”

Micheletto applauded the way Trento handled being absent from the lineup, and said it was important for his growth as a player.

“You talk to a lot of the freshmen, whether they’re out due to an injury or they’re a healthy scratch at some point during their freshman year, and the change in perspective is a really good one,” Micheletto said.

“We urged Dominic while he was hurt to make sure that he was watching the game as a student, and not as a fan or a player. I think that as much as anything has pushed his game.”

As someone who is constantly around Dominic, Lee knew his roommate was upset about not being able to play, but thought he handled it the right way.

“He was just kind of down, so we would try and pick him up when he was upset,” Lee said. “He was good about it and knew that when he got back he had to work hard and he did, so it probably turned out for the best for him.”

Moving forward, Micheletto anticipates Trento becoming a valuable part of the team.

“I think he’s on a good trajectory right now. He plays the game the right way in terms of his D-zone and his ability and willingness to block shots,” Micheletto said.

“As he continues to embrace our philosophy that his offense will come off his defense and takeaways, he’s just going to get better and better.”

Jason Kates can be reached at [email protected] and followed @Jason_Kates.