Prudential Center to host Inaugural Liberty Hockey Invitational
NEWARK — The best collegiate hockey in the country will skate into Prudential Center as the inaugural Liberty Hockey Invitational will launch Oct. 25 and 26. The two-day, four game tournament features an all-Ivy roster, where Princeton, Yale, Brown and Dartmouth will compete for the Liberty Trophy. Over the next three years, the tournament will feature Princeton and Yale of the ECAC, with invitational spots filled by Hockey East programs at Maine, Massachusetts, UMass-Lowell, Merrimack, and Vermont.
Princeton men’s hockey, the host team of the Liberty Hockey Invitational, will be a staple in the tournament along with Yale Bulldogs. The Princeton and Yale rivalry dates back to Jan. 19, 1901, when the Tigers defeated Yale 5-0. The teams have played 246 games with Yale holding a 132-103-10 edge in the all-time series.
“My players, staff and I are looking forward to being a part of a first-rate experience in the Liberty Hockey Invitational. We're thrilled to be a part of this annual tournament to be played at the Prudential Center,” said Bob Prier, Princeton men’s hockey head coach. “We hope the fans and alums in the metropolitan area are as excited as we are and come out to cheer us on in October at the Rock.”
The 2013-14 seasons will mark the 110th season of varsity hockey at Princeton. The first game was played on Nov. 30, 1909 against the Drisler School. Princeton did not compete for three years during World War I and II.
Over recent years, Princeton has had 10 players move on to professional careers in the NHL. Current players include Jeff Halpern and Darroll Powe of the New York Rangers, George Parros of the Florida Panthers and Kevin Westgarth of the Carolina Hurricanes. A total of 23 Tigers have been drafted in the NHL since the draft’s inception in 1963.
The most notable alum from the program is Hobey Baker, arguably Princeton’s greatest athletic hero. It was at Princeton that Baker distinguished himself as one of the greatest college hockey players of all time, dominating every game he played in and frustrating all who tried to contain him. The annual award for the nation’s best collegiate hockey player is named in his memory, the Hobey Baker Memorial Award and is housed at Hobey Baker Rink on the Princeton Campus. Hobey Baker is the only member of both the Hockey Hall of Fame and Football Hall of Fame.
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