Cory Schneider was back on the ice Wednesday afternoon, though it wasn’t on an NHL sheet of ice. The veteran goaltender started a conditioning stint with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and started in net for their 3-2 overtime loss to the Providence Bruins.
Schneider’s appearance in net came after the Islanders announced earlier in the day that he had been reassigned to AHL Bridgeport for the conditioning stint. Wednesday marked Schneider’s first start in goal in over a year when started for New Jersey on March 6, 2020.
“I felt pretty good. I felt engaged mentally,” Schneider said. “Physically it was a bit of a grind. Just a shock to the system. Getting your body used to playing for 60 minutes. It’s amazing. It’s been over 12 months since I did that last. I felt pretty good as the game went on and I felt like I made some good saves.
“Obviously the overtime goal was not a good one by me, so again that’s part of the process of getting in overtime and playing that long. … Overall I’m not looking too much at the shots and goals, and just more how I felt and how I was moving.”
Cory Schneider on the first game of his conditioning assignment and facing 𝕫𝕖𝕣𝕠 shots in the first period. 🎙️ pic.twitter.com/wgg2yss82X
— Bridgeport Sound Tigers (@thesoundtigers) March 31, 2021
Cory Schneider made 21 saves in the loss, which included a first period where he didn’t have to face a single shot on goal. The 35-year-old joked that he thought about playing the puck out of his net just to take a delay of game penalty to get some action during the first 20 minutes.
Schneider stepped away from the New York Islanders organization in February after the tragic death of his 14-year-old nephew, Theodore Hedstrom, in a house fire. The Islanders and New Jersey Devil paid tribute to Hedstrom by placing red taped hockey sticks outside their locker rooms during their March 2 matchup.
“It’s nice to have that in my life right now, to be able to do what I’m passionate about and love doing,” Schneider said, according to the Connecticut Post. “It’s nice to get back out there and not have to think about a whole lot else other than focusing on the game, because when you’re not actually playing the game, there are a lot of other things that can occupy your mind or keep you busy.
“Right now, it’s nice to just focus on Hockey.”
Tom Kuhnhackl and A.J. Greer each scored for the Sound Tigers on Wednesday. Providence forward Oskar Steen scored the game-winning goal at 2:31 of overtime.