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Schneider returning to his Boston roots

by Dhiren Mahiban
VANCOUVER -- He grew up a New York Rangers fan idolizing Mike Richter, but deep down the Boston Bruins are a big reason Canucks backup Cory Schneider is in the position he's in today.

The Marblehead, Mass., native fondly remembers going to Bruins games at Boston Garden and then the Fleet Center as a child along with his dad Richard and his older brother Geoff, making this Stanley Cup Final all the more special for the 25-year-old.

"We split tickets with a group of guys, both my brother and I used to get about five games together with my dad," said Schneider, who grew up 17 miles away from the TD Garden. "We still do have those seats, so my brother and father have been to a couple games throughout the playoffs and I think my brother has become an even bigger Bruins fan than when he was playing (hockey)."

"I think once you stop playing you miss the game, and that's kind of his outlet now for his hockey enjoyment."

Schneider, who completed his finance degree in December at Boston College, believes he's got his friends on his side despite going head-to-head with the hometown Bruins.

"I'd like to think I got them on my side, a lot of my friends didn't grow up playing hockey so I don't think the Bruins are as ingrained in them as maybe the Red Sox, Celtics or Patriots, but they've all kind of been caught up in (the Bruins)," he said. "Hopefully their ties aren't too strong and they'll be wearing the blue."

Like Bruins forward Milan Lucic having ticket difficulties in his hometown of Vancouver, Schneider says friends he didn't even know have come out of the woodworks back home.

"My best friends understand what the situation is and know it's not easy, so actually they're the ones who really haven't asked for anything," Schneider said. "There's not many tickets even if I wanted to get them, reserve them and have other people pay for them. I don't even know if that's going to fly."

The 25-year-old credits some of the Bruins greats for initially getting him interested in the game.

"They were a big part of me getting into hockey with Cam Neely, Ray Bourque, Adam Oates and players like that, who growing up were real good players," Schneider said. "I think I was at the first game at the Fleet Center after the Garden and Neely had a hat trick, so that was kind of cool, but that's the problem -- there hasn't been a lot of great Bruins memories in the past 40 years.

"I certainly wasn't alive for any of them, and it's been a long time since they've been to the Stanley Cup Final, which I don't even remember."

Schneider is hoping he and his teammates can take care of the Canucks' Stanley Cup drought before the Bruins pick up their first Cup since 1972.
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