By Matt Mackinder/MiCHO Editor-In-Chief
It will be Michigan versus Michigan Tech for the Great Lakes Invitational championship after the Wolverines defeated Providence and the Huskies upended Michigan State in the other semifinal Friday at Joe Louis Arena.
In the first semifinal yesterday, Michigan scored early and often and Billy Sauer recorded a career-high 50 saves for the shutout in a 6-0 win.
Louie Caporusso (scoring on his first shift of the game after being out with a knee injury since Nov. 10), Aaron Palushaj, Anthony Ciraulo, captain Kevin Porter, Ben Winnett and Travis Turnbull scored for U-M.
Sauer made 16 saves in each of the first two periods and 18 in the final frame.
"We were talking about it the other day about how we won it like nine years straight or 10 out of 11 years and we haven't won it since," Sauer said of winning the GLI. "It's a big thing for us. A goal we had this year was to win the College Hockey Showcase, which we did. We're trying to check things off our list, so a win (Saturday night) will check another one off."
Tyler Shelast potted two goals to lead Michigan Tech to a 4-1 win over Michigan State.
Shelast scored the first goal of the game before Michigan State's Tim Kennedy answered back. Peter Rouleau netted the game winner for the Huskies in the second period. Shelast added an empty-net goal in the third period, with Jimmy Kerr scoring again late in the contest.
“For the seniors, this is our last chance to play for the championship,” said Shelast. “I don’t really have words to describe why I play so well here. I just go out and play hard and things seem to go my way in this building.”
Rob Nolan made 29 saves for MTU, while Jeff Lerg stopped 25 fpr the Spartans.
"Obviously, you need to play 60 minutes of hockey," MSU captain Bryan Lerg said. "Tonight, maybe we played 45 minutes of the 60. There were chances in the second period that should have buried, but they didn't go in - that's hockey."
Michigan State will play Providence in the third-place game at 4:35 p.m. The championship will be decided at 7:30 p.m.