Change is the theme for 53rd annual GLI
New dates, new arena and new coaches
The venue is not the only change for College Hockey’s oldest tournament, the Great Lakes Invitational.
Not only will the 53rd GLI move from Joe Louis Arena to Little Caesars Arena, but the timing of the tournament will be different. Traditionally, it has been held between Christmas and New Year’s Day, but this season’s GLI will be held on Jan. 1-2, 2018.
As usual, the participants will include host Michigan Tech (7-6-4 overall and 5-2-3 in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association), Michigan (6-6-2 and 2-4-2-1 in the Big Ten) and Michigan State (7-8-1 and 1-4-1-1). The fourth team this season will be Bowling Green (7-5-4 and 6-2-3-2 in the WCHA).
Michigan Tech plays Michigan State (2:30 p.m.) and Michigan plays Bowling Green (6 p.m.) on Jan. 1, and the winners will meet in the championship game for the MacInnes Cup at 6 p.m. the following day. It will be preceded by the third-place game (2:30 p.m.).
And continuing with the change theme, the Huskies, Wolverines and Spartans all have new coaches this season.
Joe Shawhan is the new head coach at Michigan Tech.
“It’s an honor for Michigan Tech to host the first GLI at Little Caesars Arena,” Shawhan said in a press release. “I couldn’t be more thrilled to see the new building and all the features that come with it. It’s always a fun tournament with great competition, and this year will be no different.”
The LCA is the tournament’s fourth site. It began at Olympia Stadium in 1965, moved to Joe Louis Arena from 1979-2012 and 2014-2016, and was played at Comerica Park in 2013.
Shawhan replaced Mel Pearson, who is in his first season as the head coach at U-M after Red Berenson’s retirement. Pearson was Berenson’s top assistant from 1988 to 2011 before taking the job in Houghton.
“We look forward to continuing our long-standing relationship with the Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment and 313 Presents and playing in the new Little Caesars Arena,” Pearson said. “I’ve had the privilege to be a part of the GLI for the past 40 years as a player (U-M), assistant coach and head coach, and I believe it’s the best college hockey tournament in the country.”
Meanwhile, Danton Cole, who played at MSU and in the NHL, has replaced Tom Anastos at Michigan State.
“Dating back to when I was a player, the GLI has always been one of the best events in College Hockey and certainly one of the highlights of our year,” Cole said. “We’re looking forward to this year’s tournament and are extremely excited and grateful for the opportunity to play at Little Caesars Arena.”
Chris Bergeron is Bowling Green’s coach.
“Through the years at Joe Louis Arena, the Great Lakes Invitational established itself as one of the top tournaments in College Hockey,” Bergeron said. “Bowling Green hockey is very excited to be a part of this great tournament, especially as it makes a move to the new Little Caesars Arena. It should be a fun couple of days of College Hockey.”
Michigan has won the tournament 16 times, including two of the last three years. Michigan State has won 12 titles, and Michigan Tech 10.