Bowling Green tops MTU to win Great Lakes Invitational
The only non-Michigan school came out on top in the first Great Lakes Invitational held at Little Caesars Arena.
Bowling Green won the championship of the 53rd annual GLI with a 4-1 win over Michigan State in the championship game on Tuesday, January 2.
It was only the third-ever GLI appearance for the Falcons (10-6-6) and their first since 1984.
“I don’t see how it doesn’t create confidence and momentum for our group,” BG coach Chris Bergeron told the Detroit Free Press. “We believe when we play well, we can play with anybody. I think it proves that.
“I’m a firm believer in Michigan Tech’s team. They skate, they compete and they’re deep. I thought we went nose-to-nose with them, and, again, it confirms to our group that if we play the game a certain way, we can be difficult to score against because we can defend.”
Falcon freshman goalie Eric Dop made 29 saves, John Schilling had a goal and an assist and Brett D’Andrea (Marysville), Tyler Spezia (Clinton Township) and Connor Ford also scored for Bowling Green.
Falcon sophomore forward Lukas Craggs had two assists in the championship game after contributing two goals and an assist in the semifinal 6-4 win over Michigan on Monday. He was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player and with Dop made the All-Tournament Team.
“As the third period wore on, we slowed a bit,” Michigan Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. “It turned into the Bowling Green game they like to play, where it was just up the wall, they go get it.
“Tonight, I think Bowling Green had a way of just breaking our will a little bit.”
The Huskies, who annually host the tournament, have reached the GLI championship game five of last six seasons and have won 10 titles overall.
Earlier on Tuesday, Michigan (8-8-2) defeated Michigan State (8-11-1) 6-4.
A hat trick from Cooper Marody (Brighton) led the Wolverines out of an early two-goal deficit. Tony Calderone had three assists and James Sanchez got his first goal in 13 games and added an assist for UM.
“Felt good to see the puck go in the net. Felt even better beating Michigan State,” Marody said. “I guess we’re just all very excited for Friday. We’ve got a great opportunity with Notre Dame coming in.”
Michigan hosts top-ranked Notre Dame Friday night and Sunday afternoon at Yost Arena in Ann Arbor.
Cody Milan had three assists for MSU. Taro Hirose had a goal and two assists, and Carson Gatt had two assists.
Red Wing Luke Glendening, who went from a walk-on to a two-time captain at Michigan, gave Wolverine players a pep talk before the game.
“He gave a real good talk from the heart. I thought we had time to reflect on that,” Michigan coach Mel Pearson said. “Not that that was a miracle pill or something like that, but I think it was important.”
Michigan Tech beat Michigan State 4-2 in the other semifinal on Monday. Alex Gillies, Gavin Gould, Alex Smith and Jake Lucchini had a goal and an assist each for MTU.