UMass’ Trivigno garners 2021 Walter Brown Award as best American-born college hockey player in New England

Bobby Trivigno recorded 30 points this season for UMass while also serving as an alternate captain for the Minutemen (photo: Rich Gagnon).

The Gridiron Club of Greater Boston announced Monday that Massachusetts junior forward Bobby Trivigno is the winner of the 69th Walter Brown Award, presented annually to the best American-born college hockey player in New England.

Trivigno led the Minutemen to their first-ever Hockey East playoff championship this season with 10 goals and 20 assists for 30 points.

Of the 16 forwards and defensemen among the 19 semifinalists for this year’s Walter Brown Award, Trivigno had the highest plus-minus rating, with a plus-17. He also scored three game winning-goals for the Minutemen, who finished with a record of 16-5-4 and edged UMass Lowell 1-0 in the Hockey East title game.

“I think Bobby singlehandedly elevated our team to a championship level,” said UMass coach Greg Carvel in a statement. “He’s far and away our best forward and he’s a tremendous leader. Our team just followed his lead all year. He’s completely deserving of this award.”

Trivigno, a native of Setauket, N.Y., prevailed in closely-contested balloting with four other semifinalists: Boston College sophomore forward Matt Boldy, Boston College sophomore goalie Spencer Knight, Quinnipiac senior forward Odeen Tufto and American International senior defenseman Brennan Kapcheck.


“The committee members did not have an easy task this year,” said committee chairman Tim Costello. “Unlike some seasons where a shoo-in candidate emerges to dominate the voting, 2020-21 had about 50 percent fewer games played per team. Also, the pandemic limited opportunities for all of the candidates to display their skills against teams from outside their league and beyond their immediate geographic region.

“Nevertheless, there was an impressive slate of semifinalists and finalists, and a close final vote that went to a most worthy recipient, the first ever from UMass in a year when his team took home its first Hockey East championship.”

The nation’s oldest nationally-recognized college hockey honor, the Walter Brown Award was established in 1953 by the members of the 1933 Massachusetts Rangers, the first American team ever to win the World Championship Tournament. Brown coached the Rangers to the title in Prague, Czechoslovakia, where the team defeated Canada 2-1 in overtime in the championship game.