Toronto native Corey Trivino is enjoyed a very good rookie season with Boston University. He is coming off of one of his best weekends of the year in the NCAA Tournament’s Northeast Regional where he posted a pair of goals, including the game-winner versus Ohio State in the semi-final game. In 30 appearances coming into the Frozen Four, he has posted 13 (six goals, seven assists).
Hockey’s Future spoke with Trivino after practice on Wednesday at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.
HF: So how does it feel to be here in the Frozen Four here in Washington D.C.?
CT: Oh, it’s amazing. We had a couple of hours this morning to go look around the nation’s capital. And me being Canadian, it was interesting to see the White House, the department buildings and the Lincoln Memorial. This was more surprising than anything. We’ve gotten to use the Washington Capitals’ dressing room, which was a surprise and a lot of fun (laughs). You get to see which player’s stall you’re in and all. So it’s been pretty exciting.
HF: As a Canadian, you’re probably not used to all of this Frozen Four stuff, so how has the experience of being a part of it been for you personally?
CT: Well, back home, hockey is No. 1 in Canada, but you come here and the NCAA Tournament and Frozen Four are where you finally get the recognition that you deserve. I think it’s been kind of different, but it’s been pretty good.
HF: So how does a Canadian kid like you end up at BU?
CT: Well, I wanted to go the college route and get an education. I had seen a couple of games and the level is just fast-paced and skillful, so I wanted to be a part of that. When I was searching around for schools, BU just caught my eye and just fell in love with it right away.
HF: What other schools had recruited you?
CT: It was between BU and New Hampshire. That’s who I narrowed it down to. They both have great programs. So for me, it was more of a lifestyle decision. New Hampshire was more of a country lifestyle and BU is in the city. I could feel comfortable with both because both situations are great. But I just decided on BU.
HF: Did major junior teams ever recruit you as well?
CT: Yes, before the (Bantam) draft. But I had told them before the draft that I had already made my decision. I had done my research before that because I knew that I would have to make my decision. There, you have to make a decision at a young age. So I made my decision to go to college, but they decided to draft me anyway. I got drafted by Barrie, but I stayed strong with BU.
HF: BU obviously has some great leadership on the team in guys like John McCarthy and Matt Gilroy. How has their leadership enabled you to adjust more quickly and easily to the college game?
CT: I got injured at the beginning of the year, so those guys and the rest of the senior class helped me to get my confidence up. I was able to practice for a while when I was injured, but they made sure that I was still a part of the team. They would tell how things were going to be and not to get too overwhelmed. Being a freshman, you kind of get adjusted to it by playing so much, but you can’t take it for granted because it’s not every year that you’re going to have such a great team. It seems like every time there’s a championship on the line, the dressing is kind of different. There’s something there and you want to win. So they make sure that we don’t lose focus and not always fool around. So in that aspect, they’ve been a great senior class.
HF: What comes with wearing the BU jersey is the tradition of winning. How were you personally, especially being a Canadian, able to understand and get yourself acclimated to the BU hockey tradition and why it is so important to win the Beanpot as well as a national championship?
CT: When I made my first visit to BU, I actually came to watch the Beanpot. And I thought, “whoa! This is such a huge event for Boston”. I think there were around 17,000 people in the Boston Garden. I think it’s a great thing because there’s such a long tradition within the teams. It’s a tournament that determines who is the best team in Boston. So it’s more of a pride thing. Obviously winning the national championship is the dream of every college player, but to be able to be here (at BU) to win try and win it is phenomenal.
HF: How has knowing the importance of respecting the BU tradition as well as having been the top team in the nation for a good part of this year influenced you to be the best player that you can be?
CT: This is the second time this year that we’ve been ranked No. 1. I think when we were ranked first the last time, we kind of took it for granted and we ended up losing our next game. So with that experience in our minds, we don’t to let anything slip this time around. When you go into a game facing the No. 1, you’re obviously going to bring your best game. We have to face that every single night now, so we definitely have to bring our best game to counteract other teams’ best games because every team wants to beat the No. 1 team and Boston University itself, having that prestigious name. So our captains make sure that we have that in our minds, knowing that the other team is gunning for us. So we have to be ready for it.
HF: Your team’s next opponent (Vermont) is one that is very familiar, but one that you guys have had problems against earlier this year. So knowing that, does that help you to solidify your game plan coming into the Frozen Four?
CT: Yes, definitely. We played them three times and even though we have a losing record against them, we feel that we know what we’re up against, compared to a team that we had never played during the year. We have some bad history against them, which is a little nerve-racking, so we do know what we’re up against and hopefully we’ll made a few adjustments.
HF: Well, I’m sure there’s a little bit of that revenge factor in there as well because it’s one thing if you’re facing Bemidji or Miami in the first game of the Frozen Four, but you are facing a team that’s in your own conference.
CT: Oh definitely. When we lost that last game to them, we were hoping that we’d be facing them again in the future hopefully in either the Hockey East championship or in the Frozen Four to have that chance to avenge ourselves.
HF: What were some of the things that Coach Parker and his staff have taught you that has not only made you’re a better player, but also are things that you can carry forward as your career progresses?
CT: I know that here at BU they stay strong with their defensive play and playing in the defensive zone. So being a centerman, they taught me how to be on the strong side of the puck, how to be very strong defensively down low, and to be creative whenever I’m in the offensive zone. Really, if I take anything away from this with me, I think it would be the defensive part of my play and helping out the team overall instead of just focusing on offense.
HF: What are some of the things that you’d like to get better at and are continually working on to elevate your game?
CT: Well, one of the reasons why I came to BU was because of the strength and conditioning program that they have. And it’s not the easiest thing for me to gain 10 pounds, so they’ve been giving me strict workout regimens and put me on a strict diet. I’ve been trying to follow that and I’ve gained a lot of weight this year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to gain more muscle next year. That’s what I really have to do. I need to get bigger and stronger more than anything.
HF: Can you talk about your workout regimen and what it entails?
CT: At the beginning of the year, we had some pretty strict routines like 6am runs around campus. Which for me as a freshman coming in, I had to get used to the idea of waking up at 5am, go to the rink, run for a while and then get to class by 9am. So it was hard, but once you get into a routine, it gets easier especially with having your teammates there with you. We work out two or three times a week and do some simple things. Mike Boyle (BU strength and conditioning coach) is really great. He’s been known to make little skinny guys like me bigger (laughs).
HF: Did you go to Islanders camp last summer?
CT: Yes. It’s a good way to measure yourself up against other guys, especially those that are already playing in the NHL like Kyle Okposo. It’s also really fun to be with the team that hopefully you’ll actually be playing for in another couple of years.
HF: What have you gotten out of the camp that has enabled you to make the adjustment to BU as well as the speed and strength of the college game?
CT: The pace at the camp was pretty fast and the size of the players, especially the guys on the opposite (scrimmage) team. We didn’t really play that physical because we were all hoping that one day we’d all be playing for the same (NHL) team. You can tell when you’re trying to defend against them that they’re stronger than you are. So it kind of introduced me to that kind of game that I was going to face at BU.
HF: Are you planning to go again this summer?
CT: Oh, I’m definitely going to go again this year.
HF: Have the Islanders been in touch with you and have they come out to see you play?
CT: Yes. They’ve come out to watch me play in a couple of games. They’d talk to me and tell me what I need to improve on.
HF: Finally, what is has been like you playing for Coach Parker?
CT: Well, initially when I came into this program with such a prestigious coach, I was kind of intimidated. But once you’re in the dressing room with him, he’s all buddy, buddy with you and that helps you to kind of relax. It’s just good to take in everything he says because he’s been around a long time and obviously when he speaks you’ve got to listen and try to take away all of the lessons that he teaches you.