March 17, 2006
Hockey East Semifinals
BC's X Factor
Cory Schneider leads the Eagles into the title game against their rivals from BU

By Jeff Howe

Boston College 4, Maine 1
Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
No Scoring

Second Period

1-BC Benn Ferriero (13) SH
6:27 J. Rooney, B. Boyle
2-BC Brian Boyle (21) EV
8:55 B. Bradford, C. Collins
1-ME Josh Soares (14) PP
18:14 D. Damon
Third Period
3-BC Stephen Gionta (11) EN
19:13 Unassisted
4-BC Nathan Gerbe (10) EN
19:56 B. Boyle
BC: Cory Schneider, 60:00, 35 saves, 1 GA
ME: Ben Bishop, 59:22, 25 saves, 2 GA
Penalties: BC 4/8; ME 5/10
Power Plays: BC 0-5; ME 1-4
Attendance: 16,909

BOSTON – Cory Schneider may very well be the biggest X-factor in all of college hockey right now. When he is on top of his game, Boston College has been almost impossible to beat, and he proved that yet again on Friday night when he made 35 saves in the Eagles' 4-1 win over Maine in the Hockey East semifinals.

Schneider and Ben Bishop were the two best players on the ice at the Garden, as each made huge save after huge save in a game that was much more competitive than the score showed since BC added two empty-netters in the final 47 seconds.

“He played great,” Schneider said of Bishop. “It was like a one-on-one battle. He was doing it on his end, and I had to respond on my end. We would really feed off each other, and he helped me elevate my game.”

Schneider had no choice but to elevate his game early. The teams went into the first intermission deadlocked in a scoreless tie, mainly because of his 16 saves in the opening 20 minutes. BC was able to put enough pressure on Bishop to cause the freshman to crack in the second period, as they picked up two quick goals in a span of just 2:28 to take a 2-0 lead. Twenty seconds after jumping ahead by a pair, Schneider made a terrific save on Mike Hamilton’s backdoor bid to keep Maine off the board.

“We relied on Cory Schneider to make some terrific saves early, and he kept us in the game,” BC coach Jerry York said. “Cory was just terrific. We never would have been there without Cory early.”

Schneider said he knew Maine would focus on scoring fast, as they have against BC in earlier matchups this year. He acknowledged that he just wanted to get out of the first period in no worse shape than trailing 1-0.

“I knew they were going to try to come out early and put the game away just like they have before,” he said.

Then in the third, he made 10 more big stops, perhaps none more important than on Jon Jankus’ attempt to beat Schneider’s five-hole on a quick transitional play with 6:50 to play and BC ahead 2-1.

“They had some pretty good sustained pressure there in the third period, but I thought our guys did a great job keeping them to the outside and not allowing many grade-A chances,” Schneider said. “We blocked a lot of shots, were diving and doing everything we could to keep the puck out of there. I just tried to stay as calm as I could.”

Now, he and the Eagles have their chance to sing their redemption song against the Terriers, who have beaten BC three straight times, including in the Beanpot championship at the Garden on Feb. 13. Schneider will get the start between the pipes on his 20th birthday.

“It’s going to be a good one,” he said. “They have obviously proven how good they are. We’ve got to get out there and get after them to try to get a big win out there.”

Boston University 9,
New Hampshire 2
Team Goal Str
Time Assists
First Period
1-NH Jacob Micflikier (15) PP
2:53 B. Hemingway, B. Yandle
1-BU Dan Spang (7) EV
9:06 B. McGuirk, R. Weston
2-BU David Van der Gulik (9) EV
10:28 J. Redlihs

Second Period

3-BU David Van der Gulik (10) EV
7:40 S. Sullivan, J. Curry
4-BU Matt Gilroy (2) EV
11:28 P. MacArthur
5-BU David Van der Gulik (11) EV
13:49 B. Zancanaro, D. Spang
2-NH Jacob Micflikier (16) PP
14:34 B. Hemingway, D. Winnik
Third Period
6-BU Bryan Ewing (13) EV
0:42 Unassisted
7-BU Brad Zancanaro (14) EV
2:07 D. Van der Gulik, T. Morrow
8-BU Bryan Ewing (14) PP
3:21 M. Gilroy, D. Spang
9-BU Dan Spang (8) PP
3:36 Unassisted
NH: Kevin Regan, 42:07, 23 saves, 7 GA; Jeff Pietrasiak, 17:53, 6 saves, 2 GA
BU: John Curry, 51:49, 25 saves, 2 GA; Stephan Siwiec, 8:11, 2 saves, 0 GA
Penalties: NH 5/10; BU 6/12
Power Plays: NH 2-5; BU 2-4
Attendance: 16,909


David Van der Gulik’s wild playoff ride rolled on during the night’s first semifinal game at the Garden on Friday. The BU senior captain recorded the fastest hat trick in Hockey East semifinal history – picking up three goals in a stretch of 23:21 to break Chuck Kobasew’s old mark of 29:59 from 2001 – to help the Terriers shellac UNH 9-2.

This is Van der Gulik’s second trifecta in the last three games, as he also racked up three goals in BU’s Game 1 quarterfinal win over UMass a week ago. In the Terriers’ three postseason games, Van der Gulik has recorded the game-winning goal twice and the game-winning assist in the other.

This is after the Boston University star missed the first half of the season with an abdominal injury and had a tough time buying space on the score sheets early in his return to the lineup.

“I’ve been getting the bounces lately and not doing too much differently,” he said. “I’ve been going to the net, and the puck has been going in for me. [Brad] Zancanaro has fed me some nice passes, and I’m just happy I’ve been able to contribute.”

Van der Gulik has now set the all-time tournament record with two career hat tricks, and his six goals in this year’s tourney put him one behind BC’s Marty McInnis (1990), Maine’s Martin Robitaille (1990) and BU’s Jay Pandolfo (1996) for the single-tournament record.


• If you haven’t already heard by now, the two semifinal games were rematches of last year’s Hockey East semifinals. Boston College defeated Maine 2-1 in double-overtime in the 2005 appetizer before UNH throttled BU 5-2 during the main course.

• In light of St. Patrick’s Day, eight UNH fans traded in their alma mater’s blue colors for more festive green custom made T-shirts with “UNH” inside of a giant shamrock. Slainte!

• BU was out-hitting UNH by a heavy margin in the first period, but the Wildcats – or at least Chris Murray – were the aggressors after the whistle was blown. At the 18:15 mark of the first period, Murray was penalized for drilling David Van der Gulik into the boards several seconds after referee Scott Hansen blew the play dead.


INCH's Three Stars of the Night

3. Dan Spang, Boston University
When your team scores nine goals, there are bound to be one or two players who have great statistical games. Spang had two goals and two assists in the win, but his first goal of the game tied things at 1-1 to shift the momentum and set the stage for BU’s big second period.

2. David Van der Gulik, Boston University
He has made everyone’s game better since his return to the lineup. He picked up three goals and an assist against UNH and was instrumental for BU to coast through an easy third period and into the championship game.

1. Cory Schneider, Boston College
If it wasn't for the sensational sophomore, there was a good chance Maine would have answered BU’s nine-spot from the matinee.

• With the Terriers holding onto a more than comfortable 9-2 third-period lead, Jack Parker called off John Curry in favor of senior stopper Stephan Siwiec with 8:11 to play in the game. Siwiec made two saves.

• Jack Parker was reminded in the post-game press conference that his team scored six goals in the 2003 Hockey East semifinal – a 6-5 double-overtime win over BC – only to get shut out in the final against UNH the following night. He was then asked what he would do to prepare his team for this year’s championship affair. Parker responded with, “Who brought this kid in here?”

• UNH was the only team not to bring a band to the night’s event.

• Heading into the night, it appeared that both Boston University and Maine had locked up NCAA Tournament bids while the fate of Boston College and New Hampshire wasn’t as certain. UNH bench boss Richard Umile had this to say about his team’s tourney chances:

“The way we played tonight is not going to change what happens. It depends on what happens in the other games. If we won tonight, I’m almost certain we’d be in. Now I think it’s still up in the air. We’ll find out on Sunday. I told the team I hope our season is not over, but if we play like that, I hope it is over.”

• Jerry York listed Chris Collins’ status for the championship game as “questionable” after he struggled to make it through the semifinal game against Maine. Collins collided with a goal post in BC’s last practice and has been diagnosed with a with a hip pointer.


After an apparent technical problem with the scoreboard, PA announcer Jim Prior did his best Dick Clark impersonation by counting down the final 10 seconds of Billy Ryan’s hooking penalty in the first period.

BU winger Bryan Ewing attempted to score on a wrap-around 42 seconds into the third period, but he lost control of the puck, which UNH forward Mike Radja ended up knocking into his own net. The Wildcats apparently decided that enough was enough and allowed three more goals over the next 2:54 to fall behind 9-2.

St. Patrick’s Day is good. Playoff hockey is also good. But playoff hockey on St. Patrick’s Day isn’t so hot, as this marked the first time since 2002 that the Hockey East semifinals were not sold out at the Garden.


For the second time in as many months, BU and BC will fight for a championship on the Garden ice. BU took home the Beanpot crown on Feb. 13, and has won its last three meetings with the Eagles. BU is 5-2 all-time in the Hockey East championship game while BC is 6-4. Surprisingly, these two programs have only met once for the Lamoriello Trophy. BU beat BC 9-4 in the 1986 title tilt. BU holds a 6-2 record against BC in tournament meetings. The last time they met, the eighth-seeded Terriers knocked off the top-seeded Eagles two games to one in the 2004 quarterfinals.