Goalie Schneider will be at home in this series
VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Cory Schneider was never fortunate enough to win an NCAA championship in his three years as goaltender for Boston College but he made it as far as the title game in 2006 and ’07, losing to Wisconsin and then Michigan State.
Now the Marblehead native has another shot at the top prize in a different BC uniform, this time as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, the pride of British Columbia. The Stanley Cup finals kick off tonight with Schneider — as backup to Roberto Luongo — pitted between his employer and his hometown Bruins.
Schneider said yesterday he was excited about the matchup.
“It’s a great sports town,’’ said Schneider, who combined with Luongo to win the Jennings Trophy (fewest goals allowed) this season for the first time in franchise history. “Whether it’s the Bruins, the Celts, the Red Sox or the Patriots. They’re very passionate, borderline obnoxious, but that’s kind of how we like it.’’
Schneider, who went 16-4-2 with a 2.23 goals-against average and .929 save percentage in 22 starts, said he has an appreciation for the way Bruins netminder Tim Thomas plays, particularly his athletic style.
“Everyone just marveled at how he did it and I think a lot of people thought it was just a flash in the pan that wouldn’t last,’’ said Schneider. “He’s proved a lot of people wrong.’’
Alberts reconnects Another former BC standout on the Canucks is defenseman Andrew Alberts, who began his pro career with the Bruins in 2005-06. He played 73 games that year, 76 the next, but was limited to 35 in 2007-08 because of post-concussion syndrome.
“It’s a different team from when I was there,’’ said Alberts. “I don’t know a whole lot about the B’s because we don’t play them very often but they’re a quality team, deep lineup.’’
Alberts, 29, said his time in the black and gold seems like another lifetime.
“A lot has happened since then,’’ said Alberts. “I was in Philly, Carolina, and then I was traded here. It was only three years ago or so but it seems like a long time.’’
Malhotra not ready Canucks center Manny Malhotra was not at practice yesterday, and general manager Mike Gillis indicated he won’t be available for Game 1 tonight. Malhotra, who was hit in the eye by a puck March 16 and hasn’t played since, was reportedly cleared to play over the weekend, though it is still unclear what role he might play in the series.
Staff writer Amalie Benjamin contributed to this article.