Corinne Schroeder has been making a name for herself in the hockey world over the last few seasons and now has the chance to turn her passion into a career.
The 23-year-old Elm Creek native is set to play her first season in the Premier Hockey Federation (PHF) with the Boston Pride. Schroeder is coming from Quinnipiac University where she had an incredible season, breaking school records and making her way into the top ten in the NCAA for saves in a single game with 73.
The goaltender says she couldn't be happier about making the jump.
"I would say this is what I've been working for my whole life, even though it hasn't been around that long but it's definitely the next step up and I'm proud to have made it this far," Schroeder explains. "I'm honoured to be able to keep playing. It's honestly a dream and one that I never really knew I could have growing up but now it's a reality. That's really great for the women's game. It's awesome to see how far it's come."
The 23-year-old says the PHF was recently renamed from the National Women's Hockey League and is expanding from a six-team league to a seven team league this season, with the addition of the Montreal Force. Schroeder notes the biggest change for her is being able to focus solely on her sport.
"It's been a little different. Obviously, in college you have to worry about your classes and making sure you're keeping up with your studies as well as hockey. So, there's a bit more free time now but it's still an adjustment," Schroeder continues. "I'm also doing a little bit of goalie coaching in my free time. That's definitely helping me, just being able to spend more and more time thinking about the position and how to strategically play different situations out. I notice different skills I need on work on through the goalies I coach. It's like I'm learning and coaching at the same time."
During her senior season in the NCAA Schroeder finished with a 1.44 goals-against-average, and a 0.951 save percentage, to go along with six shutouts, all of which are career highs for the goalie at any level. She reflects on the amazing season she had in 2021-22.
"My year at Quinnipiac was really great and probably my best in college. We made it to the (NCAA Division 1) tournament, unfortunately lost to Ohio, but we played really well all season. Personally, I had some great numbers and also just felt like I progressed and learned to be a more complete goalie. Something I focused on and got better at was consistency as well as being in a new place, getting used to it and always working hard and fighting for that position. That's a big piece of the mental game that I added in."
While she is going from being a fifth-year veteran to a rookie once again, one of Schroeder's main goals is to stick to what got her this far.
"I want to make sure I don't lose my game or lose the way I play. I want to consistently be the same goalie I have been but just take it up to that next level," Schroeder explains. "Obviously, I would love to be at the top of the leaderboards for goalies in our league but I think focusing more on my team and that I do everything I can to get us some wins is more important. If I work on the little things, all of that will come together by the end of the year."
The former Pembina Valley Hawks netminder is joining the back-to-back champions in the Boston Pride and she will be looking to help them achieve the illustrious three-peat this season.
"I think there's a little bit of pressure but a lot of the league has shifted this season. With the increased salary cap, there's a lot of great talent that has joined the league, especially with a brand new team coming in. So, it's hard to say we're just going to win a third. I'm excited for the challenge and, hopefully, being able to earn that championship."
Schroeder and the Pride will get their season underway this weekend as they host the Connecticut Whale.