Tag Archives: Liam Grande

Breaking Down Princeton’s First-Half Success And Where It Came From

Hi everyone, I’m back! At least for a little bit as I breakdown Princeton’s surprise success of the first half and how it will translate to the second half. In this piece I will visit two topics – first I will break down the success Princeton is having, where on the scoresheet it is most reflected. Secondly I will break down where that success is coming from.

This doesn’t mean the blog is back for good, but I would like to post some tidbits on it every now and then – especially because I can still pop into Baker from time to time (like I promised I would.)

Anyway, thanks to Princeton’s SID, Kristy, I have a handy breakdown of Princeton’s first quarter of this season vs. the second quarter of the season as well as the first half of this season compared to the first half of head coach Ron Fogarty’s first season.

Continue reading Breaking Down Princeton’s First-Half Success And Where It Came From

Getting To Know the Freshmen Tigers: Liam Grande

Liam GrandeFor the past three seasons, Liam Grande skated for the Cobourg Cougars of the OJHL, overlapping with Princeton sophomore Alex Riche. While Grande only appeared in 27 games last season, he averaged over a point per game and recorded 28 points in 27 games. He netted a career-high 59 points last season and finished his career with 126 points.

Eye On The Tigers spoke with Grande to see what the incoming freshman had to say:


Why did you choose Princeton University?

I chose Princeton University because it was the best fit for me both academically and from a hockey perspective. The academic side of what Princeton has to offer is diverse and impressive. When I visited the campus it was awesome, everything from the grounds to the arena. The hockey program most suited me in terms of coaching and an ability to take my game to the next level.

What are you most looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to starting my university career. I graduated from high school two years ago and have since been playing junior hockey and working so I’m really excited to get back into the classroom and to get on the ice.

When did you get into hockey? What’s your earliest memory?

I started into hockey when I was about four or five years old but I have been skating since age three. My earliest memory of hockey is playing for the San Jose Sharks in my first year of house league in my home town. From the first time I stepped onto the ice with my hockey stick, I knew I would love the game of hockey. I have never looked back!

What NHL team did you grow up rooting for and why?

I grew up rooting for the Toronto Maple Leafs for two reasons. First, both my parents loved the Leafs, as well as my grandparents on both sides. I come from a long line of staunch Maple Leafs supporters and growing up that was the only team on the T.V. Saturday night. Secondly, my favourite hockey player of all was Mats Sundin, who was of course captain.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in hockey?

The biggest challenge I have faced in hockey is dealing with injury that comes hand in hand with playing the game at a high level of intensity. Hockey is a rough sport and undoubtably has gotten rougher as I have moved through more demanding and talented leagues. Dealing with injury from the sideline can be challenging and frustrating, but overcoming these challenges makes you stronger as a hockey player and as a person. Keeping strong and healthy and motivated is at the centre of my game.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever seen when playing hockey?

The strangest thing I ever saw while playing hockey was when I was very young with my hockey team in Ottawa for a tournament. We were playing in the quarterfinals and were in the second period when the fire alarm in the building went off. We were all forced outside of the arena and the game was delayed. Ottawa had just had a major ice storm and the parking lot and surrounding grounds were a sheet of ice. We were all in our hockey equipment and skates so we started skating outside for fun. Eventually we were allowed to go back inside to continue to play but the sprinkler system had gone off over the ice surface and had frozen over. In our opponent’s end there was a massive hill of ice right in front of their goalie’s net and it took the arena staff an hour to chip away the ice and prep the surface. From start to finish that game must have lasted 4 hours – the longest game I have ever played. I don’t even remember the final score – I just remember what a crazy afternoon hockey game that was!!!

Who’s the most influential person in your hockey career?

Most influential person in my hockey career? My parents for sure. Neither of my parents played hockey but they both loved watching the game (big Leafs fans remember). Right from an early age they put me in power skating and skill development programs. It hasn’t stopped. They continue to be my biggest supporters in every aspect of my life. The amount of time and money they have invested in not just me but also my two brothers is crazy. They are, hands down, the most influential people in my hockey career. I wouldn’t be were I am now without them.

What’s the most exciting experience you’ve ever had?

From an early age my life has revolved around hockey and school so it makes sense that one of the greatest experiences I’ve had would be a hockey one. In my midget year we went to the OHF’s (provincial championships) and it was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Even though we lost in overtime in the finals, it was a great journey for me personally and for a great group of young men who skated beside me. The road getting there was tough. We had a really close team and supportive coaches and parents. Getting the opportunity to play for a provincial championship with all the pressure and excitement was a memorable experience.

What do you plan on majoring in/what are your academic interests?

My academic interests are math, finance and science. Right now my plan is to major in economics. There is so much offered at Princeton that I hope to seek out other options as well. The plan is to take advantage of all the school has to offer.

What do you hope your legacy at Princeton University will be?

To win a national championship is the goal. I want to leave Princeton with the jersey in a better place than when I got there.

Previous Q&A: Jordan Fogarty | Derek Topatigh | Joey Fallon

See also: Princeton announces 2016-17 incoming freshmen


Princeton Announces 2016-17 Incoming Freshman Class

Princeton announced its freshman class for the incoming season on June 27. The class of 2020 consists of five forwards and a defenseman.

The class will replace five graduating seniors, which included four forwards and a defenseman. The Tigers are adding an extra forward this season, but they lost two forwards last offseason in Josh Melnick and Connor McLaren.

Joining Princeton this season are forwards Jackson Cressey, Jordan Fogarty, Joey Fallon, Liam Grande and Jeremy Germain. Derek Topatigh is the lone defenseman of the class.

After initially joining the Coquitlam Express for 10 games in 2012-13, Cressey spent the next three full seasons with the Express. He totaled 125 points over 160 games and netted a career-high 70 points over 52 games last season and was named the team’s MVP.

Germain also played in the BCHL, skating for the Chilliwack Chiefs in 2015-16. HE finished the season with 38 points over 56 games. Fogarty spent the last three seasons with the Sarnia Legionnaires of the GOJHL, netting 107 points in 134 games.

Fallon played for the Lone Star Brahmas of the NAHL last season, recording 22 points in 51 games. In 2014-15, Fallon played for the Gloucester Rangers of the CCHL where he skated with current Tigers Max Veronneau and Ryan Kuffner. Fallon registered 58 points in 61 games that season.

Grande and Topatigh both played in the OJHL. Grande played for Cobourg, the former team of current Tiger Alex Riche, for three full seasons. Over 117 games, Grande netted 103 points. Topatigh, the only defenseman of the incoming class, represented Canada East in the World Junior A Challenge last season. In 2014-15, Toaptigh was named the Ontario Hockey Association’s Top Prospect Defenseman. Through two seasons with the Orangeville Flyers, Topatigh recorded 60 points in 103 games.

Recruit Roundup

There’s been a lot of news since the last recruit roundup. The Tigers received several new commits, one from Jeremy Germain and another from Corey Andonovski. Jackson Cressey, Matt Thom and Colin Tonge were also named to Canada’s WJAC selection camp rosters.

Here’s Princeton hockey recruit roundup:



Jackson Cressey returned from his injury on Nov. 18 against Penticton. He recorded his first point after his return when Coquitlam beat Wenatchee 4-1 on Nov. 20. Cressey has a hat trick on Nov. 27 against Prince Geroge. He added a goal the night after and is currently second on the team with 34 points.

Jeremy Germain, who committed to Princeton in November, has 15 points this season.


Reid Yochim finished November with nine points (2g, 7a). St. Andrew’s College also strung together a four-game winning streak in the month. His teammate, Corey Andonovski, has


Jake Paganelli had an assist in a Nov. 13 win over Bismark and another on Nov. 20. The next night, Paganelli scored a goal against Bismark. He’s currently on a two-game point streak after recording an assist and then a goal and an assist in a two-game set against Minot.

Joey Fallon recorded an assist in an overtime loss to Corpus Christi on Nov. 19. He’s currently on a seven-game scoreless streak.


Liam Grande returned to action at the end of Novemeber, playing in a 5-3 win over Toronto. He netted an assist the next night, and had a three-point game (1g, 2a) against Goergetown and fellow Princeton recruit Matt Thom on Nov. 28. Grande also had an assist on Nov. 30.

Derek Topatigh had a three-game point streak in November, where he scored a goal, a goal and an assist, and another goal over the stretch. He’s on a four-game point streak currently. After a goal and an assist in a win over Mississauga, Topatigh has recorded an assist in three-straight games. He’s Orangeville’s highest-scoring defenseman.


Jack Adams recorded a goal on Nov. 11. He’s currently on a three-game point streak after scoring a goal against Sioux Falls, an assist against Madison on Saturday and a goal against Madison on Sunday.


Doug Connor started two of the past four games – both last weekend – and now has four wins on the season. He backstopped the P.A.L. Junior Islanders to a 5-1 win on Dec. 5, making 22 saves. He made 24 saves in a 3-2 overtime win on Dec. 6

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Recruit Roundup

Liam Grande committed to Princeton for the 2016-17 season, giving the Tigers four commits in the OJHL.

Here’s how Princeton’s recruits fared this week:



New commit Liam Grande hasn’t played since Sept. 29. He has nine points (6g, 3a) this season. Derek Topatigh scored a goal against North York on Saturday. Colin Tonge has not played since Oc. 15.


Joey Fallon has not played since Oct. 9, and Jake Paganelli did not play this past weekend.


Doug Connor made 40 saves on 47 shots in his team’s 7-3 loss on Saturday.


Here are the recruit stats:

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Cobourg F Liam Grande Commits to Princeton

The Cobourg Cougars F Liam Grande committed to Princeton hockey for the 2016-17 season, the team announced on Thursday. Last season, Grande was teammates with current Princeton forward Alex Riche.

This is Grande’s third season in the OJHL. As a rookie in 2013-14, he netted 29 points in 38 goals. Last season the ’96 forward had 46 points in 52, and has nine points through six games so far this year.

The Ontario native also played int he Central Canada Cup in 2014, where he scored three points (2g, 1a) in six games.

Grande will join Jack Adams, Matt Thom, Colin Tonge, and Ried Yochim that season.