Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A year earlier than expected, Trivigno is finding ways to contribute on UMass’ second line

Hard-nosed left winger looks to continue impact on UMass power play

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Caroline O'Connor/Collegian

Caroline O'Connor/Collegian

Caroline O'Connor/Collegian

By Liam Flaherty, Collegian Staff

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Bobby Trivigno, a freshman forward on the Massachusetts hockey team, wasn’t supposed to join the Minutemen (2-0-0) in the Hockey East Association until another year of junior development.

But after recording 43 points in 58 games with the Waterloo Blackhawks of the United States Hockey League last season, Trivigno was called up a year early to round out the freshman class.

To kick off his collegiate career, the 5-foot-8, 150-pound left winger picked up a trio of assists in his first two games with UMass, two of which he connected with linemate Mitchell Chaffee.

“He’s a good player,” coach Greg Carvel said. “We weren’t expecting him for another year, but when they’re ready to help us, we bring them in and he’s proven us right so far.”

“I’m not surprised, he finds ways to get points,” Carvel added, commenting on the freshman’s opening weekend. “Those assists weren’t spectacular and I think he was the benefactor of his teammates doing a majority of the work, but every point counts. Some are just nicer than others.”

Regardless of how he acquired those early marks, Trivigno was happy to get them out of the way.

“It was good,” the forward said. “It’s definitely a good start and what I was looking for, but we have a long season ahead of us, so we have to keep up the production and keep playing well.”

Besides being the highest-ranked freshman in the lineup among forwards, Trivigno also acted as a mainstay on the UMass power play unit over the weekend, providing a solid net-front presence.

Describing his play after Friday’s season opener, Carvel referred to Trivigno as “a little rat.”

“Bobby just finds ways to win battles, drop penalties and take penalties,” Carvel said after the 6-1 win on Friday. “It’s kind of crazy, he’s the smallest guy on our team by probably 40 pounds and I have him in front of the net on the power play. It doesn’t really add up, but he’s been effective.

“He’s hard to play against, even as a small guy,” Carvel added. “‘Greasy’ is the better word, because he squirms his way into finding positions. He just finds ways to be hard to play against.”

“I’m typically a hard-nosed player,” Trivigno said. “So, being in front of the net kind of plays to my style, like turning around and whacking the rebound in. I like to get gritty, so to be in front just plays into my style. Pretty much, I use my speed to get rebounds quickly and just be gritty.”

The speedy approach that Trivigno referred to provides a solid compliment to the second line.

Bolstered by sophomore standouts Chaffee (13 goals) and Jake Gaudet, both big-bodied power forwards, the style of Trivigno allows the powerful line to open up and find quality chances.

“It definitely helps my game a lot,” the freshman said after practice in preparation for Ohio State. “They’re bigger guys and they’re able to create space for me by drawing bigger guys to them. So it’s great and I can feed them pucks. Chaffee will bury almost every puck I feed him.

As for UMass, it heads into a showdown with No. 1 ranked Ohio State — which swept the Minutemen at the Mullins Center last season — and there is excitement in the locker room.

“We’re really prepared,” said Trivigno. “Everyone knows how important this weekend is going to be. It’s going to a huge test for us and we really need to be dialed in and just play our hardest. If we play our game to the best of our ability, we should get the right outcome.”

Liam Flaherty can be reached at [email protected] and on followed on Twitter @_LiamFlaherty.

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