Vancouver Canucks associate coach Rick Bowness admitted Thursday that benching No.1 goalie Roberto Luongo in favour of Cory Schneider was a gut-wrenching decision for the coaching staff.

The Canucks tapped Schneider on the shoulder for Game 3 — a 1-0 loss — and then stuck with him for Game 4 despite facing elimination in their best-of-seven playoff series against the L.A. Kings. Luongo, with 32 career playoff victories, was reduced to wearing a ball cap and watching Schneider, who had never won an NHL playoff game. According to Bowness, the final call was made by head coach Alain Vigneault.