Great Lakes Invitational: Michigan hockey faces Bowling Green in round 1

Michigan State takes on Michigan Tech in annual tournament in Detroit

Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Sept. 12, 2017. (WDIV)
Little Caesars Arena in Detroit on Sept. 12, 2017. (WDIV)

DETROIT – Michigan hockey will take on Bowling Green in the first round of the 2018 Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) in Detroit. 

This is the first time the 53-year-old college hockey tournament will be held at the all-new Little Caesars Arena. It's Bowling Green's third invitation to the four-team tournament. They finished in 4th place in 1984 and 1976. 

Great Lakes Invitational schedule:

  • 2:30 p.m. Monday, Jan.1 -- Michigan State vs. Michigan Tech
  • 6 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1 -- Michigan vs. Bowling Green
  • 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2 -- third-place game
  • 6 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 2 -- championship game

Western Michigan won the tournament last season. 

About Bowling Green hockey (8-5-6 overall)

The Falcons participate in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) where they currently hold 2nd place behind Minnesota State. They host conference rival Western Michigan on Thursday night as a primer before the tournament in Detroit. 

Sophomore defenseman Alec Rauhauser leads the Falcons with 16 points. A group of freshmen forwards including Cameron Wright, Brandon Kruse and Max Johnson have helped Bowling Green beat teams like the U.S. National Development Team and Michigan State. 

About Michigan hockey (7-7-2 overall)

The Wolverines (3-5-2 conference) have not played since Dec. 8 when they were shut out by rival Michigan State, 5-0, in East Lansing. That puts Michigan in 6th place out of seven teams in the Big Ten. Only the Spartans (8-9-1 overall, 2-7-1 conference) trail them in the conference standings.

Junior forward Cooper Marody leads the Wolverines with 24 points. Michigan has struggled to keep the puck out of their own net. Goalies Jack LaFontaine and Hayden Lavigne have combined for a .890 save percentage while their opponents have averaged .905, according to MGoBlue.com

Michigan last won the GLI in 2015 when they defeated Michigan Tech in the final. It was their second-straight GLI tournament victory and 17th all-time, the most of any team. 

NOTE: Michigan Tech (9-7-5 overall) is tied with Northern Michigan for 3rd place behind Bowling Green in the WCHA. 

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