Portside Royals hockey player finishes season on torn ACL, MCL

Liam McGrath overcomes injury

BROCKPORT, N.Y. (WHEC) – It’s easy for a high school athlete to take playing sports for granted. But that’s not true for Liam McGrath, who willed his way on the ice this season.

“As soon as I heard that news, my heart kind of sank down in my chest and I thought that my hockey career was over,” said Portside hockey senior Liam McGrath.

McGrath tore his ACL and MCL in his right knee during his travel team’s first game in August. The senior was given a 10% chance of finishing the season. The outlook was bleak.

“It’s an injury that almost always, the recommendation is you should have surgery to fix this. Liam’s case was unique or somewhat unique in the fact that a majority of the ligament remained,” said URMC Chief of Sports Medicine, Dr. Mike Maloney.

“We didn’t think that there was any other option than surgery, to be honest with you. And we were trying to gear him toward surgery and that’s it. And then he came to us and… I did some research, can we talk,” said Liam’s mom, Tammy McGrath.

The talk led to a decision. And that decision was McGrath going through a rehab plan with the help of his athletic trainer.

“He stayed committed to his rehabilitation. He worked hard to stay on the ice. He set a goal from the get-go to play the hockey season and here we are two years from the year,” said Portside athletic trainer Jason Wentworth.

“My heart for the game kind of outweighed the negative effects that could happen,” said Liam McGrath.

Instead of having surgery, McGrath chose to go the route of rehab. He’s played the full season and is second on the team in scoring. Which is a big reason for his decision.

“I could not miss this last year of my hockey career, because this team is like a family to me. We make so many memories and I don’t want to miss it out and sit on the sidelines and look onto it so I was like, I have to do this,” said Liam McGrath.

As the season grew on, so did his belief he made the right call.

“Every single game I get through it just makes me feel more and more rewarded, the fact that I made this decision and I didn’t choose to get the surgery. The fact that I made it through almost a whole season,” said Liam McGrath.

Liam scored a goal on senior night, putting the bow on what’s already been a storybook season.

Portside defeated Geneseo, 6-1.