BU's Bonino Out a Month With Shoulder Injury
by Joe Meloni/CHN Reporter
BOSTON Boston University center Nick Bonino will miss at least 3-4 weeks after dislocating his right shoulder in the first period of Saturday night’s 3-2 win over Michigan.
Losing Bonino shorthands the Terriers who have struggled with injury throughout the early season. Goaltender Grant Rollheiser sprained his ankle in the preseason, and reserve defenseman Ryan Ruikka will miss the entire season after injuring his knee also in the preseason.
“We have so many new guys, and so many guys jumping into new roles that it kind of poses a problem. When you throw in the injuries, it makes it even harder,” Bonino said. “Everyone’s kind of rolled with it so far. We all know that no matter who we’re playing with, they’re a Division I hockey player.”
Bonino finished the 2008-09 season second on the team in scoring with 18 goals and 32 assists behind Hobey Baker finalist Colin Wilson. With Wilson’s departure, Bonino was BU’s No. 1 center entering the season. He was scoreless in the first two games of the season before leaving Saturday’s game.
“Right when I went down, I knew what was wrong,” Bonino said of the hit that put him on the shelf.
“After they popped it back in, I said I was ready to go back in because my adrenaline was going. I didn’t really realize what I’d done. I sat up on the table, and the trainer said I was done for the night.”
Sophomore Chris Connolly will likely fill Bonino’s spot as the first-line center. He normally lines up as a wing, but played the pivot on Saturday night with defensive specialist Luke Popko out of the lineup.
“The coaches are trying to experiment with new line combinations, and guys are playing all over the place,” BU captain Kevin Shattenkirk said. “It’s tough when we’ve been losing a lot of our strong forwards and some of our best guys who are in the lineup everyone night.”
Bonino’s injury is especially worrisome for Parker and his staff due to the likelihood of reoccurring problems should Bonino return too soon. The timetable provided is hardly optimistic, but there is really no way to tell when he will return and how long he will need to regain his top form.
Terrier sophomore Ross Gaudet has yet to play a game for BU since arriving on campus last season due to similar shoulder issues.
“[Ross] did it a few weeks ago in practice, so he’s been telling me what to expect and what the recovery is like,” Bonino said.
Despite earning their first victory of the season, the Terriers are still tinkering with their lineup to spark their offense. Through three games, they’ve managed five goals. Freshman wingers Alex Chiasson and Wade Megan were expected to contribute before the season started; Bonino’s loss only enhances BU’s need for the pair of gifted rookies to provide consistent offensive efforts.
“I think we only had one senior forward and one junior forward on the ice [in the third period],” Shattenkirk said. “So it was tough as far as an experience level at such a crucial moment in the game. At the same time, it was good to get some of the young guys time in such a pressure situation – especially against a team like Michigan.”
The injury comes at an especially bad time for BU. The Terriers take on Mass.-Lowell this weekend in a home-and-home pair beginning Friday night in Lowell. The pair with Lowell in part of eight Hockey East games BU will play over the next month, and Bonino is expected to miss them all.