How Boston Pride goalie Corinne Schroeder made the transition from college star at BU and Quinnipiac to PHF All-Star as a rookie
“The more you play at a certain level, the more you get used to it [the mental strength] it takes time,” said Schröder. “It also comes the more you understand the game and the pace.”
Despite it being her first pro hockey season, Schroeder quickly understood what it was like to play in the PHF, and that was key to the Pride’s 12-2-1 record. Last Saturday against the Montreal Force, Schroeder earned her sixth shutout of the season with a 50 save performance. She leads the league with 12 wins, 1.73 goals against average and 0.952 percent save rate.
Now in its eighth season, Pride has consistently produced great goalkeepers, but Schröder’s start as a rookie is one of the best the organization has seen. It has boosted their teammates’ confidence and enthusiasm in their own game.
“She gives this team so much energy when she makes big saves,” said Jenna Rheault. “As a defender, I’m very confident that if there’s a defensive breakdown, she’ll make it big.”
Schroeder is proud of what she has done with Pride, but not satisfied.
“I know I can give more and things I can do better with every game,” she said. “But some of those shutouts were pretty exciting. It felt really good to be able to see it through to the end.”
A native of Elm Creek, Manitoba, the career has had several turning points over the past six years. After winning the silver medal at the 2017 IIHF Women’s World U18 Championship with Team Canada, she went to BU where she started 25 games as a freshman and was named to the Hockey East All-Rookie Team. In Schroeder’s sophomore year, her 30 saves (including nine in overtime) helped the Terriers win their first Beanpot title as a varsity program.
But the next two years were tough. Schroeder was BU’s first goalie, but the team lost in the first round of the Hockey East Playoffs both years. In her senior year, the team only played 12 games due to COVID restrictions, and she saw action in eight games. Despite setting school records with a career savings percentage of .929 and a GAA of 1.98, she was excited to see what else was possible, so she used her fifth year of COVID to graduate and play at Quinnipiac.
“I’m very grateful to have had the opportunity to play another year, especially to play another year on a different program,” Schroeder said. “It just gave me a better perspective on college hockey just to see what else is out there.
“If you stay in the same program for four years, you get used to it. But the switch gives you a new perspective and gives you a chance to be like a newbie again. You have to work really hard to earn your spot and that just gives you more motivation and drive.”
Despite only being with Quinnipiac for a year, Schroeder left a lasting mark. Her savings percentage of .951 set the school’s season record. In her last game as a Bobcat, she made 73 saves in an NCAA Quarterfinals loss to eventual national champions Ohio State last March.
When she joined Pride in Free Agency, Schroeder was ready to use her college career to become the best pro goaltender possible. Her consistency and calmness improved with this experience.
“I feel like I’ve always had this consistency compared to some other goalkeepers, but it’s gotten better and better over the years,” said Schröder. “Looking back at the freshman year, I don’t think I had a single shutout that year. It’s not exactly the only marker to judge things by, but there were a couple of games where I knew I should have had it but just let in a weak goal or something. So in those really difficult moments, I know I have to pull myself together. I’ve come a long way and now I can close the door a little better.”
The consistency that has existed for years and the ever-improving mental game are the reason why Schröder has the support of her teammates. These qualities are also the reason why Pride continues to be the dominant team in the PHF.
“She was a huge component of this team’s success because of her high level of performance, focus and consistency,” said Rheault.
Schroeder is one of nine Pride players set to hit the ice in Sunday’s PHF All-Star Game at the Mattamy Athletic Center in Toronto. The three-game round-robin event will air on ESPN2 and split players into three teams: Team USA, Team Canada, and Team World.
Other Pride players joining Schroeder on the Canada team include All-Star captain Kaleigh Fratkin, league leading scorer Loren Gabel, and Elizabeth Giguere. Five-time All-Star Jillian Dempsey heads the Pride’s Team USA delegation, which includes Kali Flanagan, Allie Thunstrom and Olivia Zafuto. Team World includes Aneta Tejralová from Pride.
Kat Cornetta can be reached at [email protected].