NCAA Frozen Four
Measures Up Boston College's Cory Schneider
|Cory Schneider was the first
goaltender to post back-to-back shutouts in NCAA Tournament
play. Wisconsin's Brian Elliott matched the feat the
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.