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Trivino hopes to build off freshman season

Thursday, 07.16.2009 / 11:25 AM / On Campus

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

SYOSSET, N.Y. -- Corey Trivino had the best seat in the house for the winning goal in perhaps the most exciting college hockey game ever played.

Trivino, a freshman center at Boston University, was on the ice when Colby Cohen's overtime goal gave the Terriers a 4-3 victory against Miami (Ohio) in the NCAA Tournament championship game last spring -- a game in which BU forced OT after trailing 3-1 entering the final minute of regulation time.

In fact Trivino, the first of three second-round picks by the New York Islanders in the 2008 Entry Draft, watched the winning goal flutter right past him on its way into the net.

"I was on the ice for the overtime goal," he told NHL.com in an interview during the Islanders' developmental camp. "We battled in the corner, the puck went to the point and I went to the front of the net. I saw it at a perfect angle -- it went off the guy's shin pad, right over my head and straight into the net. I'm like, 'No way is that going to go in.' It felt like slow motion. I was like, 'Please go in. The goalie can't see it. Just go in, please.' It did, and we went nuts."

The Terriers scored twice in the last 59.5 seconds to force overtime -- and avert what Trivino said would have been a major disappointment.

"Our team was so powerful offensively that I was just thinking that I hope we get the next goal," he said of his thoughts as time wound down. "The next goal is so crucial. You can't score the second goal until you score the first one.

"Once we scored the first one, I thought we actually had a chance. At one moment you're like, 'How can this slip through our hands? We're the better team, the better players.' Thankfully, it worked out our way."

For Trivino, the 36th pick in the 2008 draft, winning a championship was the perfect end to an up-and-down season that included a pair of injuries that forced him out of the lineup.

"Can't get any better than that -- being a freshman, coming into a program and winning a national championship," he said. "That's what you play for.

"But I had to battle through a bunch on injuries -- a knee first, and then a shoulder. I tried to learn more of the mental aspect; I'm not used to being injured and watching from the sidelines, so it was kind of tough in that regard. I was able to bounce back and finish the season strong."

Trivino and fellow classmates Chris Connolly and Vinny Saponari formed an all-freshman line for the Terriers last fall. With a raft of talent -- including star center Colin Wilson, a 2008 first-round pick by Nashville -- having departed, more will be expected from Trivino and his linemates in the fall as the Terriers try to defend their title.

"It was a fun line," Trivino said. "We played off each other. We had good chemistry right off the bat. I don't know if coach (Jack) Parker will keep us together.

"We still have a strong defensive corps, and hopefully if the right forwards step up we'll be pretty good."

Isles GM Garth Snow knows all about winning an NCAA title -- he did it at Maine prior to his NHL career -- and said it's something Trivino never will forget.

"He really was a big part of that team and helped them win a national championship. That's something really special," said Snow, who was named to the All-Tournament team when Maine won the 1993 championship. "It's still something I reflect upon. You look back and remember how special your teammates were and the ups and downs of a season. It's always fun when you win your last game."

Though John Tavares, the No. 1 pick in the 2009 Entry Draft, attracted most of the attention at the developmental camp, Snow said he liked what he's seen from Trivino after his year at college.

"I had to battle through a bunch on injuries -- a knee first, and then a shoulder. I tried to learn more of the mental aspect; I'm not used to being injured and watching from the sidelines, so it was kind of tough in that regard. I was able to bounce back and finish the season strong."
-- Corey Trivino

"He's a lot thicker," Snow said. "We were talking about that with a lot of our young guys -- they've turned from boys into men. He'll get a lot of ice time. He's a great prospect for our organization and a player that our fans should be excited about."

And what does Trivino think of Tavares -- a fellow center? "He's a good kid and a good player, too -- very humble," he said.

Trivino, who was listed at 6-foot-1 and 170 pounds when he was drafted but looked much more bigger and stronger than that at camp, said BU's well-regarded strength program has made a difference for him.

"They have a great program at BU," he said. "I've been working out quite a bit. I know that one of my biggest weaknesses is my strength. I have to get bigger."

Trivino, now 19, will head back to New England for a second year at BU. As to what happens next summer -- well, he's content to worry about that when it happens.

"It's really how I play, I guess," he said when asked about the Islanders' plans for him. "When they see I'm ready, I'll be ready. I'll know, too. You know when you're at that level, to play with top players."


Quote of the Day

I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

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