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Sneep Hopes Eagles Can Defend Title

by Joe Sager / Pittsburgh Penguins

06/26 PensTV:  Carl Sneep Interview

06/26 PODCAST: Carl Sneep with Joe Sager 

Carl Sneep and Boston College won the NCAA Division-I championship in April.

But, the celebration has continued through the summer.

Sneep and his teammates have been honored at Boston Red Sox and Bruins games as well as other venues in the past two months. They visited Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, where they were honored at the White House. They made other stops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and the U.S. Capitol.

“There have been a lot of fun perks. On our trip to D.C., we first went to the Walter Reed Medical Center, which was a very eye-opening experience. You get a real new appreciation for the troops all over the world,” Sneep said. “Then we went to the White House and toured it and had our picture taken with the President, so that was a really cool experience. It was just a fun trip all around.

Carl Sneep (far left), Tim Kunes (middle) and Brock Bradford listen as they toured the Military Advanced Training Center.

“It was a lot of fun all season. It was a fun ride and just a great experience and a dream come true. Obviously, the year couldn’t have gone much better.”

The NCAA championship game against Notre Dame could have gone better for Sneep. The Penguins’ 2006 second-round choice (32nd overall), was one of Boston College’s top defensemen and a key to the Eagles’ run back to the Frozen Four. However, the 6-foot-3, 205-pounder was knocked out of the national championship game early in the contest when he blocked an Irish shot in the first period.

Sneep was helped off the ice and it was revealed he suffered a contusion and high ankle sprain. It was tough for Sneep to miss out on the final two periods of action, but he made sure he got his skates back on and joined his teammates on the ice for the postgame celebration in the 4-1 victory.

“It was great to be back out there and celebrate with my teammates. It was frustrating that I couldn’t finish the game, but we won it, so it doesn’t really make that much difference to me,” he said. “I am fully recovered from it finally. I can do anything on the ice and off the ice.”

This week, Sneep is back in Pittsburgh for the Penguins’ rookie conditioning camp.

“It’s good to meet all the guys and get to know them better. Hopefully, they’ll be my teammates a few years from now,” he said. “Every year I come back here, I feel like I have to be more mature and better on the ice – just make sure I am improving all the time.”

Carl Sneep, left, celebrates a BC goal.

Sneep used his sophomore season to improve his all-around game. He saw a boatload of ice time for Boston College and it paid off as he led all BC defensemen in scoring with 15 points (3+12) in 44 games played.

“We had two guys suspended from the team at the beginning of the year, so we played almost the whole year with only six guys on defense. It was good and bad because you’d get a little tired, but it was awesome to get as much time as all of us did. It’ll really help us out for next season,” he said. “The more ice time I get, the more situations I am put in and the better I get and the more comfortable I will be as a player and more well-rounded. I improved a lot all around and in the defensive zone, which is probably the most-important thing for me to improve on. I am a better skater and just a lot more confident with the puck this year than I was last year.”

After Sneep became a national champion, he watched as the Penguins competed for the Stanley Cup championship. Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik’s brother, Andrew, was also a member of the Eagles. In addition, Pittsburgh blueliners Rob Scuderi and Brooks Orpik won a national title with Boston College in 2001.

“It was a lot of fun to watch the Penguins go to the Stanley Cup. There were a couple Boston College grads on the team and I watched the games with Brooks Orpik’s brother Andrew, and the rest of my teammates,” Sneep said. “It was a lot of fun to watch them and I hope I can be a part of it in a few years from now.”

He believes the future looks bright for the Penguins.

“Definitely,” he said. “There’s a lot of great talent and good leadership. The sky is the limit.”

And, Sneep expects big things from Boston College this year as well. 

“We are losing some big players, but we have a lot of good players there still,” he said. “I think we have a really good chance to repeat.”

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