2022 Great Lakes Invitational Championship

CCHA RinkRap: Return Of Great Lakes Invitational Delivers For Hockey Fans

CCHA RinkRap: Return Of Great Lakes Invitational Delivers For Hockey Fans

Michigan Tech received accolades for resuscitating the GLI after two years lost, and Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids appears to be the right venue.

Dec 30, 2022 by Tim Rappleye
CCHA RinkRap: Return Of Great Lakes Invitational Delivers For Hockey Fans

"What a difference a day makes, 24 little hours . . ."

- Dinah Washington

A day after being run out of Van Andel Arena under the thundering hooves of Western Michigan by a score of 8-1, host Michigan Tech rebounded to beat nationally ranked Michigan State 3-2 in overtime to capture third place in the 64th Great Lakes Invitational. 

According to the computer rankings, the Tech-State matchup was the projected championship game, but due to Western Michigan's utter dominance of CCHA teams, and Ferris State's 4-2 upset of the Spartans in the semifinal, the most riveting game of the tournament was of the consolation variety. 

You would never know it after seeing the Huskies pile off the bench and surround their giant captain Arvid Caderoth, who finally punctured the scoresheet with his first goal of the season. 

"The bounce back after last night is incredible," MTU coach Joe Shawhan said a day after using words like humbled and embarrassed, following his club's demolition at the hands of Western. 

Shawhan cited multiple meetings between games as the reason his Huskies got their heads on straight. As a result, "our leaders stepped up today."

Tech's roller coaster season - clearly more good than bad - rolls on to the Grand Canyon State, where the Huskies will meet Arizona State. It will be final call for a push toward the elusive NCAA tournament "bubble," which translates to No. 14 or No. 15 in the Pairwise rankings. 

The Huskies did themselves no favors at the GLI. The loss and the overtime win saw them fall five spots to No. 23 in the Pairwise rankings.

Once Tech returns from the Southwest, its schedule will contain no more nonconference opponents, making it extremely difficult to climb into contention for one of the NCAA's coveted at-large berths.

Galloping Broncos

If there's any school that has damaged the CCHA's chances at getting multiple teams into the 2023 NCAA Tournament, it has been Western Michigan. 

The Broncos have gone 5-0 against CCHA schools, outscoring the them by a combined total of 34-10, the latest coming in the championships game in the GLI, where they dragged Ferris by an 8-2 margin. 

When the CCHA finds itself on the outside looking in come late March, the teams can blame the Broncos.

Ice Chips

 - Lake Superior State was opening-round fodder for the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kwik Trip Holiday Classic in Milwaukee, falling 4-0 to the Big 10 squad.

- At this writing, the CCHA has a 19-30-3 record (.394) outside its conference, ranking fifth out of the six Division I conferences.

- Team USA's roster at the World Junior Championship is dominated by Big 10 and NCHC players, and Team Latvia's captain, Gustavs Ozolins, will be heading to Bemidji next season.

He has been extremely solid in Latvia's first two games, putting a scare into Team USA and taking Switzerland into overtime.

- Ferris State coach Bob Daniels remains intensely loyal to his goaltending tandem of Logan Stein and Noah Giesbrecht, perhaps loyal to a fault. 

A day after Giesbrecht stoned Michigan State with 45 saves, propelling the Bulldogs to their first GLI championship game, Daniels started Stein vs Western Michigan. 

The Broncos proceeded to light up Stein for five goals on 15 shots, before he was pulled.

Giesbrecht has a 20-point advantage over Stein in save percentage to date.

- Michigan Tech received well-deserved accolades for resuscitating the GLI after two years lost.

Though Tech's athletic director Suzanne Sanregret gets much of the credit, both she and broadcaster Dirk Hembroff shined the light on tireless SID Calvin Larson for his contributions to the cause. 

With attendance figures well above 6,000, Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids appears to be the right fit for the future of the GLI. 

Sanregret told Hembroff they will revisit their contract in two years' time.