Lake Superior State will be playing in the Badger Showdown in Madison, Wis., taking on Harvard at 4:05 p.m. Saturday afternoon. The Lakers, who are making their third appearance in the tournament, will play either Alabama-Huntsville or host Wisconsin on Sunday.
Michigan gets the 44th annual Great Lakes Invitational underway against Michigan Tech at 3:05 p.m. Saturday, while Michigan State and North Dakota face off in the other semifinal for the 100th meeting between the two teams.
The Wolverines, playing without forwards Aaron Palushaj and Matt Rust, who are with Team USA at the World Junior Championship, head to Detroit as the defending GLI champions after defeating Providence and Michigan Tech a year ago.
Badger Showdown - Madison, WI
December 27: Lake Superior State vs. Harvard, 4:05 p.m.; Alabama-Huntsville vs. Wisconsin, 7:05 p.m.
December 28: Third-Place Game, 4:05 p.m.; Championship game, 7:05 p.m.
• The Lakers take a seven-game winless streak (0-4-3) into their third appearance in the Badger showdown where they will meet Harvard in the opening round.
• LSSU, with a 1-2 mark all-time against the Crimson and 2-2 all-time at the Badger Showdown, hasn’t faced Harvard since the 1994 NCAA semfinals. The Lakers won that game, 3-2 in overtime, and went on to beat Boston University, 9-1, in the NCAA Championship game.
• LSSU’s previous Badger Showdown appearances were in 1994 and 2004. The Lakers defeated Northeastern, 5-4, and lost to Wisconsin, 6-4, in 1994. Two years ago, they edged Providence, 2-1, and lost to Clarkson, 3-2. Senior Troy Schwab scored the game-winning goal against the Friars, while senior forward Josh Sim scored both goals against Clarkson and totaled 2-2-4 for the weekend.
• The host Badgers and Alabama-Huntsville are the two other tournament entrants. The Lakers have NCAA Tournament history with Wisconsin. They defeated the Badgers 5-3 to win the 1992 title in Albany, N.Y. U-W also swept a non-conference series against LSSU on Dec. 29-30, 1982.
• Overall, LSSU is 1-3 all-time against host Wisconsin and 0-1-1 against Alabama-Huntsville.
Great Lakes Invitational - Detroit
December 27: Michigan vs. Michigan Tech, 3:05 p.m.; Michigan State vs. North Dakota, 6:35 p.m.
December 28: Third-Place game, 3:05 p.m.; Championship game, 6:35 p.m.
• SR G Billy Sauer earned the GLI’s John MacInnes Trophy as the Most Valuable Player last year. Sauer did not allow a goal in over 144 minutes of action as U-M beat Providence 5-0 and Michigan Tech 1-0 in double overtime in the final. He made 87 saves, including a career-high
50 vs. the Friars, over the two games.
• Michigan’s dozen GLI titles are the most by any team, however, before winning the 2007 GLI the Wolverines had not won the tournament since 1996. U-M won nine consecutive GLIs from 1988 through 1996. It also won in 1966 and 1975.
• Michigan’s overall record at the GLI is 45-30-1. The Wolverines are 25-13-0 in semifinal contests and 12-13 in championship games. Against Michigan Tech, U-M is 19-10-0 all-time, including a 11-4-0 mark in semifinal games. U-M is 1-1-0 at the GLI against North Dakota.
Michigan lost a semifi nal game in OT to the Fighting Sioux in 2001 and beat NoDak for the GLI title in 1988 (2OT). Michigan is an even 7-7-1 vs. Michigan State in the GLI, including a 5-5-0 ledger in championship games.
• JR D Steve Kampfer is expected to return to the Michigan lineup for the fi rst time since Oct. 11 – the second game of the regular season. Kampfer has been recovering from a fractured skull, which he suffered on Oct. 12 in an off-campus altercation. He resumed skating without restrictions in early December.
MICHIGAN STATE NOTES
Michigan State and North Dakota’s Saturday meeting at the 44th annual GLI will serve as the 100th meeting between the teams. UND holds a 61-36-2 advantage in the series. The Sioux hold a 6-3-0 record against MSU in neutral-site contests.
• The 99th meeting was in 2007 when the Sioux hosted MSU in the US Hockey Hall of Fame game. The induction class that year included Aaron Broten, Bobby Carpenter, John Vanbiesbrouck and former Michigan Tech mentor John MacInnes – one of the founding fathers of the Great Lakes Invitational.
• Both MSU and UND are coming off of exhibition tilts against the US NTDP U-18 team; MSU
fell to the development team by a 4-2 score, while the Sioux downed the squad, 5-2. MSU is now 3-4-0 all-time against the USNTDP. Mike Merrifield and Corey Tropp had the scores for MSU, while Drew Palmisano played in net for the Spartans. Merrifield has since returned to junior hockey with Green Bay of the USHL.
• The squads also met in the title game of the 2005-06 Lefty McFadden Invitational, with MSU prevailing, 3-0, for its first shutout of the Sioux in 47 years. Prior to that win, MSU had dropped 11 straight contests with North Dakota, dating back to 1980.
• The teams have met five times in the NCAA Tournament - including twice in the national title
game, with North Dakota prevailing in both 1959 and 1987. MSU and UND last met in postseason action at the 2001 Frozen Four in Albany, N.Y., with the Sioux blanking MSU, 2-0. They also clashed in the consolation game in 1967 and 1984.
MICHIGAN TECH NOTES
• The Huskies have nine GLI championships (third most behind U-M and MSU), but have not won the tournament since 1980 when they topped Michigan in the finals.
• MTU won all nine of their titles from 1968-1980, including four straight from 1976-1980.
• Prior to 2007, Tech's best finish was second place in 2000 when they fell to MSU in the championship game.
• Michigan Tech swept Northern Michigan in a home-and-home series last weekend to up their overall season record to 4-14-2. Freshman goalie Josh Robinson allowed just one goal all weekend.