Great Lakes Invitational
Joe Louis Arena • Detroit, Mich.
Thursday, December 29
Michigan State vs. Michigan Tech, 4:35
Colorado College vs. Michigan, 8:05 p.m.
Friday, December 30
Third-Place Game, 4:35 p.m.
Championship Game, 8:05 p.m.
On TV: Fox Sports Net
Detroit will carry all four games live.
Michigan State beat Michigan once in
five meetings last season, a 2-1 overtime decision
in the championship game of the Great Lakes Invitational
that was secured on Colton Fretter's overtime goal.
It was the second OT win of the weekend for the Spartans,
who beat New Hampshire, 4-3, in the opener. A short-handed
Michigan team, with its ranks depleted by the World
Junior Championship, beat Michigan Tech in the opening
INTERESTING HISTORICAL FACT
Colorado College makes its first appearance at the
Great Lakes Invitational since the tournament was
held for the first time, in 1965. The Tigers, one
year removed from Jeff Sauer's playing days, suffered
two lopsided losses in their only other GLI appearance.
Toronto, which went on to win the tournament's first
title, beat the Tigers 6-2 in the opener, and Boston
University claimed the third-place game, 10-3.
WHO TO WATCH
This tournament features a rare – if not unprecedented
– field that includes three returning Hobey
Baker Award finalists. Of that group, the two who
didn't bring home the award last season are enjoying
the best current years. That's not to slight Marty
Sertich, who has 28 points in 22 games for Colorado
College, but his teammate Brett Sterling is leading
the nation with 19 goals. Facing Sterling, Sertich
and the Tigers on Thursday is Michigan's T.J. Hensick.
If Sertich is the set-up man and Sterling the goal
scorer, Hensick is a combination of the two, a player
who does it all for the Wolverines.
GLI history, however, tells us that the names on the
marquee entering the weekend may not be the biggest
difference-makers on the ice. Backup goalies, for
example, have played an abnormally large role in the
tournament, whether it was Michigan's Noah Ruden,
Joe Pearce for Boston College in 2003, of the unlikeliest
of heroes, Michigan State's Mike Gresl in 1998. Predicting
who to watch in the GLI may be more futile than rooting
for Michigan Tech, which once again faces enormous
odds in search of its first GLI title since 1980.
HOW WE SEE IT
Although Michigan State snapped a stretch of three
straight "outsiders" winning the GLI, the
table appears set for Colorado College to take the
title from the state once again. The Tigers are supremely
talented (led by Sterling, Sertich and defenseman
Brian Salcido) and accustomed to playing on a big
stage (having beaten Michigan in Grand Rapids to advance
to last year's Frozen Four).
Michigan, meanwhile, is missing several
key ingredients thanks to the World Junior Championship,
a familiar refrain that has at least contributed to
its eight-year GLI title drought. That should leave
Michigan State as the Tigers' top challenger, especially
if the Spartans, who are 2-1-2 in their last five,
can recapture the energy that carried them to a 5-1-1
start this season.