It’s been a long journey, but Tri-City Storm forward Trevor Mingoia is headed back to the college ranks, committing to play at Providence College this coming fall.
Mingoia, who spent last year at Union College, will be reunited with the coach he’s always wanted to play for, Nate Leaman.
“I couldn’t be happier with my decision,” Mingoia said. “When I had to choose a second time around, it was about where I’m going to be happy and where I feel comfortable. Providence ended up being that best choice and a program I think I can contribute to.”
Before college, the Fairport, N.Y. native played at the Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts for the 2010-11 season. Serving as the team captain, Mingoia was the team’s leading scorer with 20 goals and 28 assists in 29 games.
He then prepared to play at Union for Leaman, who was coming off a school record 26-win season with the Dutchmen. But over the summer, Leaman was hired by Providence to coach a Friars team that had been underachieving in Hockey East.
The freshman arrived on campus with a new head coach, Rick Bennett. Although Union achieved the most success in school history, making a NCAA Frozen Four run during Mingoia’s first season, the forward did not have much of a role, appearing in just 18 games.
So Mingoia made the decision to leave school and come to the USHL, where he found a home in Kearney with the Storm.
Now, accepting an offer from Leaman’s new team, Mingoia will finally be able to get back to what he thought he would have almost two seasons ago.
“I was fortunate enough for him to recruit me again the second time around,” Mingoia said. “I’m really looking forward to finally playing for him and I was very comfortable with him throughout the whole process.”
Leaman has been enjoying more success with the Friars since he took over. In year one, Providence made the playoffs and advanced to the Hockey East semifinals. This season, the team played well down the stretch and had a chance to win the regular season title, losing on the final day of the season to UMass-Lowell. The Friars will host a first-round playoff series this weekend with the University of New Hampshire.
“He was able to take that program [Union] and turn them into a tournament bound team and now he’s doing the same thing with Providence,” Mingoia said. “The first time you’re thinking ‘Alright this guy’s a good coach’ and then he goes to a new program and you’re like ‘Wow, he’s really got something special’.
The 21-year-old has recently been an offensive machine for the Storm. In his past eight games, Mingoia has accounted for 14 points on eight goals and six assists, including scoring the game-winner as part of a natural hat trick on Friday night in a win over Omaha.
Now Mingoia will have a chance to produce for a coach he’s always wanted to play for, in a program that plays in one of the premier college hockey conferences in the country.
“It’s always nice going into a program that’s on the rise,” Mingoia said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what we can do in the future there. I think we’re going to have a really good team with everyone that’s there and everyone that’s coming in. I’m really excited to be a part of it.”
Four other current USHL players are committed to Providence; Dylan McLaughlin (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Nick Ellis (Des Moines Buccaneers), Kyle McKenzie (Dubuque Fighting Saints), and Ryan Tait (Omaha Lancers).
Providence College is a member of Hockey East and there are six USHL alumni on the Friars roster this season; Mark Adams (Chicago Steel), Stefan Demopoulos (Omaha Lancers), Alex Velischek (Sioux City Musketeers), John Gilmour (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), Nick Saracino (Cedar Rapids RoughRiders), and Jon Gillies (Indiana Ice).
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)