Sunday, April 22, 2012

Quick Outduels Schneider as Kings Oust Canucks

They faced each other in New England high school hockey, and again right after in NCAA play when UMass did battle with Boston College.

They finally faced off in the NHL this past week with even higher stakes, and it was Jonathan Quick getting the best of Cory Schneider as the Los Angeles Kings eliminated the top-seeded Vancouver Canucks, four games to one, in the first round of the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Quick came out ahead in prep school when his Avon Old Farms team defeated Schneider and Phillips Andover Academy, and did so again in college during the 2006-07 season when his Minutemen took two of three head-to-head meetings with Schneider's Eagles.

Quick completed his trifecta/hat trick on Sunday night as eighth-seeded LA ousted host Vancouver, 2-1, in overtime. Jarrett Stoll's left-circle shot over Schneider's right shoulder put an end to another President's Trophy-winning campaign by the Canucks, and sent LA on to the second round for the first time since 2001 when the Kings defeated Detroit in six contests.

''To close out this series, for me personally, and a few guys in the room, it's something we've never done, so it's a great feeling,'' said Quick, from Milford, Conn., afterwards at

He finished with 165 saves in the five games, allowing just eight goals while also recording one shutout. He went 35-21-3 during the regular season with a 1.95 goals-against average and a club-record 10 shutouts.

Schneider, of Marblehead, Mass., who will be an unrestricted free agent in the off-season, made 43 saves in a 3-1 win in Game Four in LA to keep the Canucks alive for one more game. He had 35 stops on Sunday, while Quick posted 27 saves and shut the door after Henrik Sedin scored just over 14 minutes into Game 5.

"Quick didn't miss on a single puck the whole series," said Schneider, who finished 20-8-1 in the regular season with a 1.96 GAA and three shutouts.

Canucks starter Roberto Luongo took a pair of 4-2 losses in Games 1 and 2 in Vancouver before giving way to Schneider, who made 97 saves on 101 shots in three-plus games, but couldn't extend the Canucks' season in what might have been his final appearance with the club.

The Kings will now face the second-seeded St. Louis Blues, a five-game winner over San Jose, in the second round. The Canucks will go back and try to pick up the pieces, one year after falling one win short of their first Stanley Cup championship.

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