January 11, 2023

Energized by Sellouts for Hobey Baker Rink Celebration, Tiger Men’s Hockey Goes 1-1 as Gorman Comes Up Big

MEMORABLE WEEKEND: Princeton University men’s hockey player Liam Gorman heads up ice in recent action. Senior star forward and team captain Gorman starred as Princeton held its “Hobey 100 Weekend,” celebrating the centennial of the venerable rink by hosting Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth a day later. Gorman scored two goals in a losing cause as Princeton fell 4-3 in overtime to Harvard and then tallied a goal and an assist as the Tigers defeated Dartmouth 4-2 to cap the special weekend. Princeton, now 8-9 overall and 6-7 ECAC Hockey, hosts LIU on January 13 and Providence on January 17. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

By Bill Alden

Playing at Hobey Baker Rink over the last four years has been a highlight of Liam Gorman’s career with the Princeton University men’s hockey team.

“I think the atmosphere and the legacy that it holds, you walk into the rink and it is unlike any other rink you have stepped into,” said senior star forward and team captain Gorman. “It is really cool. I think all of its niche pieces are awesome but playing on the sheet and seeing the energy is really exciting.”

Last weekend there was a lot of excitement around the storied venue as Princeton held its “Hobey 100 Weekend,” celebrating the centennial of the rink.

“It means a lot to the team, there are a lot of festivities going on and a lot of families coming out for a bunch of the guys which is always exciting. It is super special having all three trophies (the Stanley Cup, the Hobey Baker Award, and the Patty Kazmaier Award) in the rink this weekend. All of the guys are really looking forward to it.”

The celebration had a special meaning for the Gorman family with the senior standout’s father, Sean ’91, having been a star and captain for the Tigers while his younger brother, Brendan, is a promising freshman forward on the Tigers.

“It is exciting, my dad has done a really good job coming down to a lot of games,” said Gorman, a 6’3, 199-pound native of Arlington, Mass. “He is super excited to not only have us playing on the same team but on the same line for most of the time. When he gets the opportunity to get to any of these games, he loves to. He is fired up about it but this weekend in particular, he is super stoked.”

With Princeton hosting No. 9 Harvard before a throng of 2,300 in a sold-out Hobey Baker Rink, the Gorman brothers gave their father a lot to be fired up about. Liam tallied the first goal on the contest on a second period tally assisted by Brendan. Minutes later, the older Gorman scored a shorthanded goal and then Adam Robbins scored on a penalty shot as Princeton jumped out to a 3-0 lead.

High-powered Harvard, though, responded with three unanswered goals in the third period to force overtime and then scored in the extra session to pull out a 4-3 victory.

“It just got away from us, we have had trouble closing out games,” said Gorman. “I think we got complacent a little bit towards the end of the period. We were taking too many penalties and we started giving them every opportunity that we could. They ended up capitalizing, unfortunately.”

Gorman was proud to have capitalized on his opportunities in the second period.

“Honestly I was just trying to get out of the way, he has got one heck of a shot,” said Gorman, referring to his first goal which came when he deflected a shot by his brother into the back of the net. “Whenever that thing is coming downhill, I have got to be on my toes. I almost jumped to the ceiling trying to get out of the way but I got lucky getting it. On the other goal, I just saw [Ian] Murphy streaking up ice and I didn’t see anybody with him so I might as well make it a 2-on-1. Murph had a great shot off the far post and I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Looking ahead, Gorman was excited to end the weekend with a clash against Dartmouth.

“Tomorrow will be really cool, there are a lot of festivities going on,” said Gorman, who tallied a goal and an assist as the Tigers defeated Dartmouth 4-2 before another packed house of 2,300 to cap the weekend and improve to 8-9 overall and 6-7 ECAC Hockey.

“While it is all exciting, at the end of the day every weekend, it is business. We have to put that in the rear view. At the same time, we are looking forward to engaging in everything that this weekend is.”

Princeton head coach Ron Fogarty knew that his players wanted to take care of business with a throng of former players, friends, and family on hand.

“When you have your alumni base watching on campus in Hobey Baker Rink, the fraternity that our guys were going to maneuver towards, they want to show a great product and make those alumni proud,” said Fogarty. “That is probably a little pressure on our guys. It is a tight alumni group, it is a special place at Princeton. I know our guys wanted to give them a good show and get them the win.”

The Tigers put on a good show Friday notwithstanding the final result.

“It is unfortunate how the game ended, you want the best for the guys, they worked hard,” said Fogarty. “I like where our team is at with the culture and what we are doing. As a coach, you always want to win. You want these guys to close out. We just have to play 60 minutes each game. That is an excellent, skilled team, they are very good one-on-one.”

Princeton displayed a lot of skill in its second period outburst against Harvard.

“I thought we were on our toes there, we played well,” said Fogarty. “It was a good second period, it was good up and back game. It looked pretty entertaining, it just shows that we can play with anybody.”

Fogarty has been entertained by Gorman’s heroics. “Liam has been playing well, he has really defined his role for us,” said Fogarty of Gorman, who now had 13 points on eight goals and five assists to tie senior defenseman Pito Walton for the team lead in scoring. “He is playing more of a power forward game, he has done a tremendous job being a captain as well.”

With Princeton having gone 6-3 in its last nine games and hosting LIU on January 13 and Providence on January 17, Gorman likes the way the Tigers are getting the job done over the last few weeks.

“I do think we are headed in the right direction, it is echoed in the locker room by the coaches,” said Gorman. “They are talking about playing our game, play Tiger hockey. If that is the case and we are pushing to do that, it means we must be doing something right, so we have to keep playing that way.”