By Jake Seiner/DFP Staff
For much of the season, sophomore Vinny Saponari has caught the ire of many in Terrier Nation for his failure to convert his teammate’s centering passes into one-time goals.
Saponari has been among Boston University’s best defensive players, and his ability to battle in the corners is second to very few in the NCAA. Even more, the first-line winger has developed into a solid power-forward, converting numerous rebounds into goals from atop the opponent’s crease.
Still, Saponari has struggled to connect on numerous one-time chances from point-blank, and he has, by many BU fans, been vilified because of it.
Friday, not only did Saponari clinch BU a playoff spot by spinning junior Kevin Shattenkirk’s centering into the back of the net for the game-winner –– he also twirled at least two more such shots at net with good wood both times.
“It looks easy but it’s really not,” Saponari said about one-timing centering passes. “I work on them all the time. It’s pretty tough.”
“He’s been working on that with [assistant coach] Mike Bavis –– trying to get better at that,” BU coach Jack Parker said. “I think that was a little bit different one than most of the other ones. Most of the other ones are near the net where he’s trying to jam a real hard pass.
“That was a pretty good pass [by Shattenkirk] for him to see for a while and he wasn’t surprised by that. It was good hand-eye for him, that’s for sure.”
Radio announcer Corbett honored for 25 years behind mic
After the game, Bernie Corbett was recognized on the ice for his 25 years as the “Voice of the Terriers.” Corbett graduated in 1983 after four years as an equipment manager for the Terriers, and spent two seasons as the color analyst, working with then-commentator Rick O’Kane.
“He’s been around to BU hockey for a long time,” Parker said. “Literally, he’s been coming since the mid-60s with his dad. He’s always been a BU hockey fan. He’s quite a character and does a great job on the radio for us.
“He’s a confidant of mine. I’ve known him for a long time. I love traveling with him on the road to get some insights from him, what he thinks of the team. Him and Tommy Ryan do a great job for the broadcast, but they also do a great job helping the staff out, too.”
Bonino, others, honored on BU All-Decade Team
During the second intermission, the BU All-Decade Team was announced, with 12 players honored in addition to 13 honorable mentions. Junior Nick Bonino was the only current Terrier recognized on the team.
Forwards: Nick Bonino, Pete MacArthur, Mike Pandolfo, David Van der Gulik, Colin Wilson and Brandon Yip.
Defensemen: Matt Gilroy, Freddy Meyer, Dan Spang and Ryan Whitney
Goaltenders: John Curry and Sean Fields
Honorable Mention: Tommi Degerman, Chris Higgins, Brian McConnell, Carl Corazzini, Bryan Ewing, Brad Zancanaro, Colby Cohen, Bryan Miller, Chris Dyment, Kevin Shattenkirk, Sean Sullivan, Rick DiPietro, Kieran Millan.