March 30, 2006
NCAA Frozen Four
INCH Measures Up Boston College's Cory Schneider

By Jeff Howe

Cory Schneider was the first goaltender to post back-to-back shutouts in NCAA Tournament play. Wisconsin's Brian Elliott matched the feat the next day.

Cory Schneider was about 12 minutes away from breaking the record for having the longest shutout streak in NCAA history, and had he been able to hold true for those 12 minutes, he would have set the new mark on his home ice against Boston University. It sounded almost too perfect to be true.

But the Terriers had other things on their minds, most importantly extending their winning streak to a then-season-long six games. BU lit him up for an eye-popping four goals over a stretch of about 26 minutes between the second and third periods on Jan. 27, sending Schneider and the Eagles into a month-long funk in which they watched their friends from down the street skate around the Boston Garden ice with two highly desired trophies after the Beanpot and Hockey East championship. BU also stole the regular season crown from BC on the last night of the schedule.

Heading into Saturday night’s Northeast Regional final against Boston University, Schneider knew he couldn’t take the hardware away from his close rivals, but he also knew he could end BU’s season and stake claim to much higher bragging rights. Twenty-eight saves and a school record-setting eighth shutout of the season later, and Schneider sent the Terriers packing.

After the game, he spent a few minutes talking about the BC/BU rivalry, a possible head-to-head matchup with Brian Elliott and the redemption of making the Frozen Four.

INCH Measures Up:
Frozen Four Edition
North Dakota's Jordan Parise
Maine's Josh Soares
Wisconsin's Ross Carlson

Inside College Hockey: You grew up in Massachusetts so you have always been well aware of what it means when Boston College and Boston University take the ice against one another. With six games against BU this season, including three in championship games, is this what BC/BU is all about?

Cory Schneider: Absolutely. The last couple seasons, it’s been an off-year for one team and an on-year for the other so it’s been a little lopsided. But this year, they really established themselves as the top team and we grew to that point, so that made it all the better – having two good teams playing each other and not having it the other way. We were so familiar with them that it was just all about going out there and playing hockey. There were no X’s and O’s and no tactics. Just go out there and beat them.

INCH: Was there a BC/BU recruiting rivalry going on with you when you were in high school?

CS: Not really. I didn’t talk to BU that much, and I think my talks with BC progressed a lot faster than I think BU even realized. I just knew from the start that BC is where I wanted to go so [going to BU] never really entered into the equation.

INCH: How much redemption does this win over BU give you after what happened throughout the season?

CS: The guys were saying all day that if we beat them tonight, it would make up for all the losses this year – the Beanpot, Hockey East, everything. It’s a great feeling.

INCH: There was a lot of talk about your shutout streak earlier this year, and you are starting one now. What kind of an effect does that have on you while you’re in net? Does it creep into your mind?

CS: Not at all. I’m just worried about winning the game whether it is 6-5 or 1-0. Any way is a great way. It doesn’t weigh on you. It just gives you more confidence. Once we got two goals [on Saturday], the game was over. It didn’t even enter my mind that they would be able to score three goals. The team in front of me really helps me and made it that much easier.

INCH: Has it sunk in that you’re going to the Frozen Four yet?

CS: Not even. When you look at the brackets and you realize to come out [of the regional], you have to beat Miami and then Boston University to get there, it seems so far away. But this team is on a mission right now, and there was no doubt in our minds today that we were going to win this game. It was great that we were able to put it away.

INCH: Since you’re not used to getting this much time off, what are these next two weeks going to be like for you?

CS: I think we’re going to get some time off early this week and then get right back at it. All of the guys are excited to be going. We’re not done playing hockey, and it’s going to be exciting to get back on the big stage again.

INCH: I’m going to ask you a question you don’t want to hear. If you move on and Wisconsin moves on, it would be you against Brian Elliott in a matchup of the two most talked-about goalies this year. What do you think that would be like?

CS: It would be great. I haven’t gotten to see him play, and I don’t know much about him, but I’ve heard a lot of good things. His numbers speak for themselves. Obviously, he is a great goaltender, and there is nothing better than a great goaltending battle in my opinion.

INCH: Can you talk about what the Holy Cross win over Minnesota does for the college hockey world?

CS: It’s great. We almost got beat by Mercyhurst [in the NCAA Tournament] last year. Bemidji State took Denver to OT. It just really shows that it’s an even playing field, and anybody can beat anybody on a given night, which is great. There is a lot of parity, and that makes this one of the most exciting college sports.

INCH: After getting these two wins and the two shutouts, can you finally say that you have gotten some redemption against Worcester and this building after what happened last year?

CS: Yeah, absolutely. It’s great. Two shutouts in playoff hockey; you couldn’t ask for much more. The mindset of the team this year – from both myself and the team – is a lot better. It’s nice to be able to leave that way.