Updated: Jan 16
As the New Year approached, the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) was in full swing at Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The NCAA reported that, “This season’s tournament marks the 17th time that all four teams hail from Michigan.” The teams competing included Western Michigan University, Michigan Technological University, Ferris State University, and Michigan State University.
The GLI Semi Finals took place on December 27 where we saw the Western Michigan University Broncos against the Michigan Tech Huskies, and the Ferris State Bulldogs compete against the Michigan State Spartans.
The Broncos had an incredible win, where they had a final score of 8-1 against the Huskies. WMU’s Jason Polin scored the first goal of the night in the first period. The second period saw six more goals come from the Broncos team; these were made by Cole Gallant (2), Jason Polin (2), Jacob Bauer, and Wyatt Schingoethe. The eighth and final goal made for WMU was by Dylan Wendt, while Michigan Tech’s only goal of the evening was scored by Kash Rasmussen.
The Spartans and Bulldogs game had more pressure right from the get-go from Ferris State. Three goals were made for the Bulldogs by Tyler Schleppe, Connor McGrath, and Mitch Deelstra. The Spartans attempted to make a comeback in the second period with Cole Krygier scoring two goals. Their efforts failed in the third period though where Ferris State scored one last goal by Jason Brancheau, earning the Bulldogs a chance at the Great Lakes Invitational title.
The following night had the Huskies taking on the Spartans for the Consolation game. The Spartans took the lead for the first period where Jesse Tucker earned a goal and was assisted by Viktor Hurtig. David Jankowski of the Huskies made a goal with assists by Jake Crespi and Jack Works in the second period. Spartan, Daniel Russell, took a shot in the dark in the last 5 minutes of the game, and made the goal with Karsen Dorwart and Christian Krygier by his side.
After a 2-1 lead from the Spartans going into the third period, Michigan Tech amped up the pressure when Defender Brett Thorne tied up the score putting the game in overtime. Arvid Caderoth was able to shoot the game-winning goal alongside Ryland Mosley and Brett Thorne leading the Huskies to steal the win out from under the rug.
The championship game of Broncos vs Bulldogs did not disappoint in the slightest. An 8-2 beat down by the Broncos put them in the limelight where we saw Jason Polin, Max Sasson, and Chad Hillebrand put the game into overdrive. Hillebrand earned two points in the first period with the Bulldogs’ Kaleb Ergang squeezing a point of his own in for the team.
An unstoppable four goals were made by the Broncos in the second period; two made by Polin, one by Luke Grainger, and the final by Aidan Fulp. Ferris State’s Mitch Deelstra earned a point with 36 seconds left to spare. Ending the tough game, Sasson and Hiilebrand came back for more with one point each for a Broncos win.