Gallof: The Personal Demons Of Islanders Prospect Corey Trivino

A Once Promising Career Has Been Tarnished By Incredible Accusations

By B.D. Gallof
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In 2008, the Islanders drafted in the 2nd round a player many pegged to be a 1st round pick, from Etobicoke, Ontario, a forward named Corey Trivino.

Those who know Trivino back in Ontario speak of a calm, polite, mild-mannered and shy kid, someone willing to help others. Someone who, per his former mentor and coach David D’Ammizio: “Comes back every summer to work with the kids.”

Trivino moved on from his mentor, failing to be convinced to join juniors, to Boston University in 2009.

Just this week, Trivino, Boston University’s leading scorer, was charged stemming from an incident on Dec. 11 in which he allegedly forced his way into a female student’s dorm room. The resulting charges: three counts of indecent assault and battery, two counts of breaking and entering in the nighttime and one count of assault with attempt to rape.

Upon the incident, Trivino was consequently kicked off the BU hockey team, and then upon his arrest, thrown out of BU itself.

The story has found its way to major papers in Boston and beyond.

“It is devastating to have this happen. This is completely out of character for Corey,” D’Ammizio told me.

Others who knew Trivino before he headed to Boston University agree.

“It’s not the kid we knew. When he came to Stouffville, he was a wonderful kid and he was nothing but a tremendous asset to our community. He never had any incidents when he was in Stouffville,” Stouffville Spirit hockey team owner Zeev Werek told the Sun-Tribune earlier this week.

Boston University’s coach, Jack Parker, said that this was just the latest incident involving alcohol for Trivino, who was given an ultimatum based on a suspension last season stemming from another alcohol-fueled incident.

Actually, per a few people at BU, what allegedly happened last week was the fourth such incident.

But let’s move to the beginning of all this: the 2009 Boston University NCAA championship season. Trivino was a freshman, and playing on the third line of a strongly lead team. But after the Terriers won the title, many of those leaders fled early to the NHL.

Subsequently, the departures left a serious leadership gap. In fact, within the last few years, there has been an increase in player suspensions and team dismissals.

Matt Gilroy graduated. Colin Wilson bolted for Nashville. Brian Strait went to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Nick Bonino, Colby Cohen and Kevin Shattenkirk left a year later.

According to the book by Scott Weighart, “Burn The Boats: A Seven-Championship Season for Boston University Hockey,” the 2009 team was very self-policing.

Some have wondered if coach Parker took his foot off the gas a bit. Was there a dark side to winning with young contributors who then lose all that leadership almost immediately after? Did the coach let things lie far too long?

Meanwhile, Trivino, mild-mannered and kind as described, also had his own personal demons. He had a broken home with an Argentinean father who at the time of the divorce barely spoke English. His mother was now living with another woman raising him.

Whether this had any effect on the young man might be arguable in the present day of political correctness. However, for scouts, it was something that did weigh in on their estimates for the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Some felt he slipped out of the 1st round due to questions on character issues. Some felt he was emotionally unstable.

Per one former NHL scout: “I guess the lack of a father figure didn’t help. I’m no right-winger by any means, but it can’t be easy for an elite male athlete to be raised by lesbians. It’s just not the ‘normal’ way of doing things. And in my opinion the kid can’t help but be emotionally imbalanced and thus perhaps turning to substance abuse.”

A former BU player, who did not want to be named, said of the family dynamic: “Yeah, I heard of that as well. It was something he pretty much kept to himself and perhaps some close friends. It’s not like something you announce to the team or anything.”

Regardless of how the family situation affected Trivino, clearly there is an issue of living a bit too large in Boston post-2009.

Was Trivino unstable emotionally, leaving it bottled up until there was a bottle involved? Or was there an atmosphere of excess for someone away from home, an issue that impacts many who go to college?

According to former BU players on the 2009 team, partying was pretty tame before winning the championship, though they accede that right after winning, of course, it did get pretty boisterous.

However, wild drunken nights involving Trivino became BU urban lore within the last year or two. Many current BU students have added in the comment section to the local news and school blogs alleged Trivino stories: From being naked in the halls, to passing out with no memory of the night before; from knocking on friends door at 3 to 4 a.m., to the final act of knocking on a few doors before knocking on the accuser’s door, a resident assistant in the dorms.

Though BU coach Parker has offered strong words to it being his final chance that got screwed up, one has to wonder if Trivino was given far more rope to hang himself in lieu of the fact that his regular demeanor was so different than his alleged drunken one.

In the last two seasons, two players were kicked off the team for not going to class enough. Two others were dismissed for wild antics. In fact, Trivino’s ultimatum came at his own suspension, while both Victor and Vinny Saponari “displayed conduct unbecoming of a Boston University hockey player,” according to their coach.

For their part, the Islanders are being cautious in their approach to the Trivino saga.

“He could have been in a better situation. Unlike Junior teams, some colleges try to keep NHL team personnel away from players, so teams can’t always support as needed,” a source said.

Clearly, Boston University is such a place.

Let us not forget the poor victim. It’s alleged Trivino was taking to roaming the halls, and the situation was ripe for something to go afoul. According to his Facebook wall posts, Trivino had knocked on at least one female student’s door before heading to the victim.

This will likely present itself somehow when this lands in the court. The issue of safety and the fact that a 20-year-old was perpetually loaded on alcohol wandering the dorms in the early morning hours leaves a lot to be desired as far as Boston University is concerned.

Let’s also not absolve a hockey program that seemed to only get a handle on the situation far too late, and despite whatever ultimatum, was in a process of the clean-up of far more than just one player. Rumors are abound that another player might be on his way out due to poor grades.

Some questions and examination need to fall on the program, especially in the wake of winning a national title in 2009.

When this case eventually gets to the courts, I do believe the strong charge of attempted rape and even the multiple charges of assault will find their way reduced. But it is up to Trivino to finally buy-in to what most everyone is saying around him: something is wrong and he needs to get help.

This is not likely the end of Trivino’s hockey career story, though it will be if he does not submit to a very real need for counseling and rehab straight away. Whatever demons dance in the head of this 20-year-old need to be exorcised.

The Islanders are in “wait and see” mode, not making any official statement until things become clearer, but will likely also require those same things.

Another Islanders prospect, Casey Cizikas, has overcome very serious charges. Let us see what happens here.

Read more by B.D. Gallof

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below.

  • George Meyers

    There’s an alcohol abuse public service ad on television now that utiltizes the cliched metaphor of the ‘elephant in the room’ that seems very applicable in this tragic situation. Your conjectures, Mr. Gallof et al, are indeed all way off the mark except for one: The culprit here IS the elephant in the room: ALCOHOL, pure and simple. Corey is a fine man: An excellent student and a loving son, grandson, brother, nephew, cousin and friend. ALL his parents have contributed selflessly and tirelessly to his upbringing, affording him every opportunity to excel as he has done. He has high expectations for himself and he is innately kind, respectful, intelligent, humourous, moral and socially conscious. Unfortunately, just add alcohol and, like so many others before him, his better judgement goes out the window and that foolish ‘demon’ alcohol takes over. While the courts determine his fate for his alleged actions, those who know Corey personally already know for sure that this was no malicious or agregious sexual assault, but rather the pitiful, misguided actions of a drunken party boy WAY over the line. Corey certainly must take responsibilty for his actions and face the consequences, but the reality is that no one is more hurt than him in this fiasco. Once Corey gets the help he needs for his drinking problem, he will undoubtedly return better than ever to the game of hockey, and more importantly, to the life that stretches out before him.

  • Candyman

    BD – I have been following your writing for years from Hockeybuzz to Islesindependent etc., and I think you should stick to straight sports reporting. It’s not only your judgmental and borderline discriminatory leaps that you have made in this article, but now rather your arrogant and self righteous response to valid points that reveal your true colors.

    Instead of hiding under your “blogger” cloak and responding with wordy irrelevant hyperbole, if you are taking the time to respond, how about actually responding? What actually makes you believe Trivino’s upbringing has contributed to his problems aside from your anonymous judgmental sources? Because without that connection in logic, your article is mere guesswork at best, and discrimination at worst.

    Please, I implore your, take a look in the mirror my friend – you are not the smartest man alive and you are capable of mistake. It does not make you a bad person for making the mistakes you’ve made hereinabove, but it does make you seem incompetent if you continue to fail to acknowledge those mistakes. Your arrogance blinds you.

    I was personally offended by this article and will take whatever means necessary to avoid your “writing” for the rest of time.

    • BD

      This was addressed on twitter yesterday.

      People seem to be reading that I felt his parental situation or anything around that were his personal demons. No. My point is SOME personal demons were affecting Corey to cause his situation with team and now facing an attempted rape charge besides other charges. My point is that something was wrong somewhere.

      As to what? It is up to the reader to wonder which. I go far more into the BU winning in 2009 and Terrier’s coach Parker’s handling of situation and lack of leadership than anything else.

      I do not agree with the scouts assessment, however since that team scout was a key player in the 2008 draft and information… the quote was apropos to the story at-hand.

      I am one of the most socially liberal people you are going to meet. BUT that doesn’t mean that scouts, or we can even allude that a NHL team, were as socially liberal.

      I hope that clears things up.

  • S hemperley

    First the article has so many false “facts” its ridiculous. Second, those judging Corey, his parents, and BU do you know any of these people personally? Judgment is quick to come and so is the hatred. Seems to me the writer of this article is an ignorant bigot. Get a clue…

    • BD

      Where is the judgement of his parents? Not this author.

      As for BU, simply questions need to be asked.

      While we are at it, feel free to correct the “false” facts. Support your argument. Sounds like you just don’t like the subject.

      Above all, seems to me if you read carefully there is no bigotry. I have zero issue and I am as socially liberal as they come. My question is do situations cause issues with Corey that led to alcohol abuse and then to what is currently a sex crime charge. These are serious charges with a few counts of assault and entering the RA’s room.

      Fact is…despite that I see negative reaction due to the line that seems to have some people thinking I agree with the scout…couldn’t be further to the truth.

      This piece was to show the many items around him that could or could not have been elements leading him down the downward spiral. Some had opinions that many didn’t agree with… however, it is still a professional opinion of someone who represented a team at the time of his drafting. Therefore very quotable.

  • Milly Jones

    A spoiled kid who always had his way.Even had his Minor Midget Marlies coach fired when the C was removed from him for not attending practice.

    • Lisa

      Doesn’t say much about the Marlie organization…

  • Fred

    He doesn’t lack a father figure.. he has a father who was actually very athletic himself. Just because someone barely spoke English when his son was born doesn’t mean he doesn’t exist. His mom and dad even live on the same street. Get your facts straight.

    • Lisa

      Great point!

  • Lisa Piper

    I really hope that Corey gets the professional help he needs – I do not condone at all what has been ALLEGED but let’s remember he has not had his day in court and should not be crucified. Corey, we are thinking about you and hope that you will get some help. Why aren’t there stricter policies in Universities where drinking and drugs are concerned? Wouldn’t zero tolerance put an end to this type of behavior – if athletes knew that their scholarships/education/future dreams could be jeopardized, maybe they would think twice before getting drunk or taking drugs.

  • Steve

    sapponari was dismissed from the team after he missed bed check before a tourney game and then failed to show up at the team run instituted to punish him and other offenders. trivino’s teammates had put him in bed that night because he was drunk and then he later awoke and perpetrated these acts. parker had tried to get this kid help but he insisted he could handle it. also, to the comment comparing a drunken escapade to systemic child molestation and abuse should probably consider checking him/herself and join the real world

  • John Sabo

    It takes a lot to get booted from BU. I can attest to that. Luckily when I kicked a kid’s face in outside of a bar in Boston (I was wasted like Trivino) it was dark and so I was acquitted because I was difficult to identify since it happened at night. Regardless, even though the charges were serious and the health of the student whose face I bashed in was not very good, Parker let me play through my season before I was acquitted. That helped me graduate. After, my rich dad paid the victim off to keep him quiet and avoid a civil suit. GOD BLESS JACK PARKER! The man is a saint! I hope he continues to enable young men like Corey and myself to destroy the lives of others (and our own) while playing underachieving hockey at his school.

    • JJ24

      Hey fake Sabo, are you still hanging out with banished Brett Motherwell. You know what he did, don’t you?

      And how about Cam Atkinson getting his first NHL games. Who’d have thought he’d have made it, let alone be admitted to BC after he and his brother and Dad were arrested for assaulting a cyclist who’d argued with the father. Doncha just love it when a family spends quality time together? That alone must’ve been enough for Coach York to overlook the incident.

  • Claver2010

    Sucks to BU

    Parkers lost it

  • Ryan Metzler

    What a pile of dreck. Quoting an anonymous source as saying, “And in my opinion the kid can’t help but be emotionally imbalanced and thus perhaps turning to substance abuse.” due to his upbringing by a lesbian couple? While that might be an interesting subject for a respectable academic article (and there are certainly points for consideration regarding the role of a father figure in the upbringing of a male athlete), linking lesbian parenting to inevitable substance abuse and emotional “imbalance” is the height of lazy, pathetically ignorant journalism. The reporter can’t hide behind an anonymous source, here–by quoting a professional scout (and I know of few scouts with psychology degrees) Mr. Gallof is inherently sanctioning that scout’s uninformed opinion as “expert”.

    It’s a shame that this article, which presents quite a bit of new and relevant information about Mr. Trivino’s situation, descends into such baseless muck. Of course, that’s the hallmark of Mr. Gallof’s reporting over the years: some lucid insights and credibly sourced reporting interwoven with innuendo, guessing, and meaningless blather.

    If there’s one consolation, it’s that my outrage over Mr. Gallof’s shoddy journalism obscured my derision at his inability to write legible English.

    • BD

      Of course, that’s the hallmark of Mr. Metzler’s opinion over the years: forgetting that they are blogs, not articles…and therefore not the same.

      • Ryan Metzler

        This frivolous distinction is the reason that organizations such as the NHL can get away with treating Net-based reporters as second-class citizens. Your reply indicates that you believe sloppy, unethical work is acceptable because you’ve written a “blog” rather than an “article” (never mind that a blog is merely an article posted online). You have the imprimatur of CBS, a respected news organization, and it’s reasonable to expect a higher level of writing (blog, column, or article) than one might find on an independent website.

        • BD

          You are welcome to go write your own and then come teach us all how to follow your lead. But I will stick with working with CBS’s NY Editor-In-Chief for my guidance and to the fact, despite your take on my writing, it has served me very well. What went to him, the sports editors, and what is deemed appropriate for the blog is to their discretion, not your high faluting opinion from behind your keyboard and the zero accomplishments – which are likely the reason you are wasting all our time with your opinion.

          • TD

            Once again, I question

            WHERE DOES THIS SAY IT IS A BLOG? Anyone reading this would consider it an article or a column. The only reason someone would consider this a blog is if they know of you. I doubt the average sports fan surfing CBS/WFAN has ever heard of you Gallof. Or for that matter someone out of the NYC market that might stumble upon this article.

            Not only that, but you (or if your editor is also the fact checker) did the slightest amount of research on Trivino.

            For example, Trivino has said in interviews that his Dad lived across the street from his mom after the divorce. But hey, I guess that means Trivino had no father figure.

            Also claiming that Trivino dropped because of his parents, and not because he weighed in at a measly 160 pounds? Not sure how much he dropped either, considering that Montreal was expecting him to be available with their 2nd round pick which was at the end of the round.

            But hey, hide behind the claim that this is a blog and ruin the reputation of people who blog.

        • HockeyRanter

          Shut up, you stuffy jerk.

      • TD

        BD, where does this say it’s a blog anywhere on the page?

        It even says “Read More Columns by Gallof”

  • K.C.

    just wanted to correct that corey is 21. article states he’s 20.

  • ace11

    Put his behind in a Jail Cell for a bit

    that should wake him up

  • JJ24

    Your article presents some interesting facts that I wasn’t aware of, such as Trivino’s family situation. There is also considerable irresponsible journalism in which “facts” are shoehorned into place to support a thesis.

    Case in point—you name various departing players as examples of lost leadership after the 2009 title. Every team loses senior captains. But Colin Wilson, who left after his sophomore year, while an All-American, was hardly a team leader. The next year’s captain, Shattenkirk, had been captain of the U.S. squad that won the World U18 gold medal and there were other senior and junior leaders on the team, many who had been captains of their pre-college teams.

    You claim that “Two others were dismissed for wild antics.” Really? Which players were they? You won’t be able to answer. Definitely not Vinny Saponari. The “conduct unbecoming” that ultimately led to his dismissal had nothing to do with “wild antics.” The coaches correctly will never publicly reveal the specifics, but there were on-ice discipline issues that more than justified the decision. And which players were bounced for not attending class? Just this year a key player was disciplined for missing class, but not dismissed.

    Finally, you wrote: Unlike Junior teams, some colleges try to keep NHL team personnel away from players, so teams can’t always support as needed,” a source said. Clearly, Boston University is such a place.

    An unnamed source? Oldest trick in the book and one that no responsible journalist would employ. NHL scouts have all the access to players at BU that NCAA rules allow and I’ll bet the same applies at the other Division 1 schools. Remember, hockey is the only major sport where you can continue to play after you’ve been drafted and the team retains your rights.

    Clearly you wanted to establish some “villains” for your post. Well, you’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own set of facts. Try harder, B.D.

    • John Sabo

      Now why am I not surprised to see BU fans here whining about this article?

      • BD

        I merely presented what elements were swirling around Corey. If you bothered to read more carefully (a running theme here…) I put forth questions, not answers. I presented a scenario of behaviors and issues that were going on.

        Oh yes, and you are correct, the Party Like a Puckstar rap was not an antic at all. Silly me.

  • TD

    At one turn it’s Boston U’s fault for not letting teams representatives near the kids, at another it’s the fault of the Lesbian parents, because every kid that grows up with a mom and dad ends up perfectly fine, at another it’s Parker’s fault because he kept giving him rope.

    Gallof, have you even ever talked to the kid yourself?

    In the end it’s Trivino’s fault. He was 18 with the world at his fingertips as a highly drafted 2nd round pick. He’s an adult who time and time again made the wrong choices. Even the ejection of his best friend on the team did nothing to change his way. When Parker tried to convince him to go to rehab, he refused.

    No one but Trivino can make the right or wrong decisions once they are an adult. This article comes off as more wanting to be shocking so people will complain about it (There’s no reason for an anonymous scout to be claiming that he was brought up wrong, if that was someone’s claim they should own up to it) and get more views.

    BD you actually had a pretty good first column on here. But this is more national enquirer then anything else.

    • BD

      Never said it was anyone’s fault but his. Think you are reading far too much. Maybe b/c so many Isles bloggers make decisions for the fans that read them. I presented those elements that might have affected or added to Corey’s issues. But never ever did anything ever get stated that it was anyone’s fault but his… HOWEVER, there are other issues also going that should be scrutinized.

    • John Sabo

      I grew up with a mom and a dad and look how I turned out! Bad at hockey and in need of anger management. Would I not have kicked in a kid’s face at BU with lesbian parents? We’ll never know.

  • su

    Good heavens, it would appear my earlier comments offended the censorship gods. How dare I compare Boston University to Penn State. Any institution that condones criminal behavior, including underage drinking should be closed.

    • FelizMiguel

      BU doesn’t condone underage drinking any more or less than any other institution…you’d be closing every single college in the country with your logic. This was the only incident that involved any criminal behavior other than underage drinking

  • B.D.

    Jealous much?

    • NYIFC

      Honest ever?

      • BD

        For someone so out of touch and completely clueless about the team he writes obsessively for, I find your statement very amusing. I would heartily suggest you stick to your own addictions and stay off others blogs. Over the last few months you’ve embarrassed yourself enough.

      • Paul Maher Jr.

        Sadly, you wouldn’t know the difference from your bomb shelter, loon. You diet is just being ignorant and then making judgments.

  • bobby

    Wow, this is a horrible column. I can’t believe the assertions and excuses being made here. He is alleged to have committed a serious crime. Let the courts decide based on the facts. Questioning his home situation in this manner? What are we, in 1950?

    • Chris TMC

      This article seems to be presenting things that people otherwise didnt know.
      I do not think that a parent being gay has anything whatsoever to do with this in and of itself- but do you really believe having a broken home and a father who is not a regular part of a sons life would not potentially contribute to him having problems dealing with things?

      • John Sabo

        I agree.

        The fact that an NHL scout thought it was relevant enough to at least consider when the draft rolled around goes to show it is something that one needs to consider. Hindsight can be 20-20 but that is the exact type of thing that could and should be reported after an incident happens like this.

        I wish someone like BD had done an article on me when I was in the press for almost killing a kid. I kicked him so many times he needed mesh to hold his eyeball in place. No lie. I feel bad about it now. And I did change my ways. Big wakeup call for me. Trivino needs that too. Hopefully this was it.

      • BD

        Thank you Chris for getting the point.

    • B.D.

      Sorry you feel that way but I think it is pertinent to ask what went on, the atmosphere around the team, and BU itself. But how you think it is an excuse for anything … well, that has me scratching my head. What excuse? There is none.

      Home situation: this came up at the 2008 NHL draft, and is certainly pertinent now since in many articles family dynamics and issue have been alluded to with no substantial information whatsoever. So I am afraid I disagree completely.

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