Former Boston University men's hockey player Vinny Saponari said Thursday that he will be taking his talents to Boston College for the 2011-12 season.
"I love the city of Boston, and Boston College always has a good team," Saponari said of the decision." I played against them for two years. I know how the program is –– the professionalism that comes with being there and playing there."
Saponari was dismissed from BU by coach Jack Parker last spring –- the end of his sophomore season -- after reportedly failing to attend a team bike ride designed as punishment for breaking the team's drinking policy.
The forward said he was "shocked" in the aftermath of the dismissal, but said his move to Boston College isn't driven out of spite for Parker and the BU program.
"No, definitely not," Saponari said. "I love the city of Boston. I got to spend two years there, and I think that had a big part, me loving the city and being in Boston. It had nothing to do with spite."
"That whole situation was something that you never want to go through, but it made me grow up a lot and do a lot of thinking over the summer. I wasn't very mature when I was at BU, but I hope in the long run, [the experience] helps me. It was an unfortunate situation, but I've grown up and learned from it."
Saponari said he has remained close with many Terrier hockey players, and has received support from teammates throughout the process, including in his decision to head to BC
"For me, it'll be fun," Saponari said when asked what his first game back at Agganis Arena will be like. "I still have a good relationship with the guys on the team. I'm sure I won't get the best reception from fans, but that's college hockey."
The Powder Springs, Ga. native netted 20 goals and 27 assists (47 points) in 82 games at BU. The 20-year old is currently playing for the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League, where he was recently named a team captain.