BOSTON -- Cory Schneider's last start in Boston came in March of 2007 with Boston College, during the Hockey East Finals.
He returned as a starter on Saturday as a member of the Vancouver Canucks, and did what Roberto Luongo couldn't do in three Stanley Cup Final games last year: win.
Schneider was part of last year's Canucks team that lost to the Bruins in seven games. But he didn't make a start. He got the call on Saturday, though, and made 36 saves in picking up his ninth win of the season, in a building he's quite familiar with.
"I think our whole group is real happy for Cory," said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault after Vancouver's 4-3 win over the Bruins. "He's been in our organization here for five years. A really quality kid, and he spent three years with our farm team, worked real hard at his game, and last year got an opportunity to come up and spend the whole year with us. And he was a huge part of our team when we needed him. He always stepped in and did a great job.
"He never had the opportunity to play in front of his friends and family, and we thought that, after analyzing not just that -- because there were other areas to analyze -- but I just thought that he'd give us a good game. We've got two good goaltenders, and he played well for us tonight."
Schneider is a Marblehead, Mass. native. His parents, brother, and friends were in attendance. But it was clear from the get-go, he wasn't at B.C. anymore, and Bruins fans only care about the color of the jersey.
"It's a different vibe, but we got a good taste of it last year," said Schneider. "So, it's nothing new. It was completely expected. It's a great atmosphere to play in. It's a fun building to win in. But for me, it was fun to play in front of people who have grown up cheering for me and supporting me my whole life."
And clearly, the bad blood between these two teams is just getting worse. That was evident four minutes in, when an all-out brawl broke out in front of Vancouver's bench.
The last time the Bruins were in that type of melee with a team in the regular season was last year agains the Montreal Canadiens, and it ended up with goaltenders Tim Thomas and Carey Price dropping the gloves.
"I was looking down at Tim Thomas to see if he's coming," said Scheider, when asked what was going through his mind during the brawl. "But he stayed in his net, and I stayed in mine. He didn't look that interested in it, and neither was I. As a goalie, it's not my place to be grabbing guys and jumping guys unless I have to, or if their goalie gets in there."
Thomas and Schneider stayed in their nets, and Schneider was able to one-up one of the best goaltenders in the league.
"It's a great feeling," said Schneider. "As a college player, I didn't know if I would ever get the chance to play here again. So to be able to come back and have this opportunity in front of a lot of friends and family and people at home watching, it was really cool, and I guess even more special because we don't come here very often. I'm glad we got the win."