A fifth consecutive NCAA Hockey Tournament ended with multiple Waterloo Black Hawks alumni celebrating a national championship as the University of Massachusetts Minutemen defeated the St. Cloud State Huskies 5-0 on Saturday night in Pittsburgh.
Bobby Trivigno, Garrett Wait, and Aaron Bohlinger combined to play five seasons with the Black Hawks. Trivigno and Wait were Waterloo teammates in 2017/18 when the Hawks won the Anderson Cup as United States Hockey League regular season champions. Bohlinger was a Black Hawk last winter, as Waterloo earned the best record in the USHL Western Conference.
Bohlinger scored the first goal in Saturday’s contest; it goes down as the game-winner in the Minutemen’s first NCAA hockey championship. It was also his first goal at the NCAA level and came 7:26 into the action. UMass built the lead to 2-0 at the end of one period and 4-0 after two. Trivigno added the final insurance score to help seal the win six minutes into the final period. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the event, joining fellow Waterloo alumni J.T. Brown (2011, Minnesota-Duluth) and Parker Milner (2012, Boston College) as for players who have achieved that feat.
In his junior season, Trivigno was the leading scorer for the Minutemen, producing 34 points (11 goals, 23 assists) in 29 games. That includes three assists in the NCAA Tournament prior to his goal Saturday. Trivigno was also part of a UMass team which reached the national championship game in 2019. During his one season in Waterloo (2017/18), the Setauket, New York, native was the Hawks’ fourth-leading scorer with 43 points (16 goals, 27 assists).
Wait was a three-year member of the Black Hawks, appearing in 173 regular season USHL games from 2015 to 2018. He produced 90 points (37 goals, 53 assists), while also taking the ice for 24 Clark Cup Playoff games. This was Wait’s first season at UMass after transferring from the University of Minnesota. While he delivered nine goals and eight assists in 29 appearances, his most memorable contribution came during the Frozen Four. In the National Semifinal game Thursday, Wait scored in overtime to push the Minutemen past Minnesota-Duluth for a 3-2 victory.
Appearing in all 29 games as a freshman, Bohlinger contributed 11 assists. That included setting up a pair of goals in his college debut back on November 20th against Connecticut, as well as an NCAA Tournament assist versus Bemidji State. Bohlinger’s successful beginning as a college player wasn’t quite as dramatic as his first game as a Black Hawk, when he scored the overtime winner during a 2-1 win against the Tri-City Storm. His full season in Waterloo featured four goals and 12 assists as he skated in all 49 games before the season was disrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Bohlinger, Wait, and Trivigno follow in the wake of six Hawks who won the NCAA championship with Minnesota Duluth in 2019: Mikey Anderson, Peter Krieger, Dylan Samberg, Nick Swaney, Jackson Cates, and Hunter Lellig. The first four of those players were with UMD’s 2018 title-winning squad as well. In 2017, Michael Davies, Blake Hillman, and Tyson McLellan were part of Denver’s championship. Waterloo’s recent run of successful alumni began in 2016 with a North Dakota squad that included Brock Boeser, Cam Johnson, and Hayden Shaw. At least one former Black Hawk has been part of the NCAA’s title-winning program in nine of the most recent 11 tournaments.
Photos provided by the UMass Athletics Department. Waterloo Black Hawks alumni features are presented by Karen's Print Rite, 2515 Falls Avenue in Waterloo.