The Manitoba Moose prepare for game five in the Conference finals of the American League playoffs tonight as they get set to play the Houston Aeros.
Sophomore goalie, Cory Schneider
talked to Blake Price and Dave Tomlinson of the Team 1040 Thursday after Manitoba's first loss in their last 10 games.
"[The streak] was pretty unbelievable," said Schneider. "We didn't really see it as a ten-game streak because fortunately, the series breaks it up. The funny thing is that we didn't play very well last night and we still got it to overtime so we're pretty confident in ourselves right now so if we play the way we can, we'll have a lot of success."
Schneider has posted an impressive 1.99 GAA and .927 save percentage in 14 games of their 2009 playoff campaign and is ready for the long road after exiting the playoffs in the first round in his first post-season experience as a pro.
"Last year, I got a taste of it and played pretty well but we just ran into some bad luck in the first round and got bounced. It left a pretty sour taste but it's all about winning - that's why we play is to win. You're not there to put up some good numbers in the regular season then go home for the summer, you want to go deep in the playoffs and you want to be the one at the end holding that trophy."
In early April, Schneider earned the honour of the AHL's top goalie of the year posting a regular season record of 28-10-1 with five shutouts. He recorded an AHL best 2.04 GAA and save percentage of .928, helping his team to the top spot in the League with 107 points. In the span of just one year, his role with the team has grown significantly and this playoff run will be no different and he's ready for the challenge.
"I knew a lot of people were looking at me to be one of the keys to our playoff run and we have a lot of expectations on our team too - we're a great team, the best regular season team - our GM has spent a lot of money to put a good team together, so it kind of falls on a lot of key players to drive that playoff train."THE FUTURE
Schneider made his NHL debut this season with the Canucks against the Calgary Flames on November 29th, in a 3-1 loss at the Saddledome. He made 28 saves in his first outing at the NHL level. He earned his first win in his third NHL start against the Minnesota Wild with a 2-1 win on December 5th.
He dressed for seven more games with an overall record of 2-4-1 before returning to Winnipeg to start the new year and finish off a stellar year with the Moose but not without taking some lessons out of Vancouver first.
"The time in Vancouver was up and down, the good with the bad but obviously, there are things to be pulled out of it and to learn from," he said. "If I'm going to make a push to be on the roster next season, I'll have to correct some of those mistakes. It's all a learning experience, you have to figure out on your own and get better. That's pretty much what I'll do."
His year, so far, has stirred up many conversations of where Schneider will play next season within the Canucks organization with Jason LaBarbera's contract expiring July 1st and Roberto Luongo
maintaining his position between the pipes.
"I don't know, this year, if I showed absolutely I belong in the NHL, but my other goal was to show that I don't belong in the American League any more. I think, so far, that's held true and I deserve to get an extended look at in the next level but if they find it would be better suited for me to play a lot of games again, then so be it and that's kind of the course you have to take and you can't complain. You just have to go down and show everyone that you deserve to be there and that you deserved another chance."
"I put my trust in the management of the Canucks, in Mike Gillis and his staff - they've seen me play a lot this year, which has been great and I've had a lot of dialogue with them. It's hard to say."MORE INFO:
Listen to the whole interview with Price and Tomlinson, where he goes on to talk about superstitions, rituals, two of his teammates, and his goal right now. Listen