By Matt Mackinder/At The GLI
DETROIT - Michigan State won their 12th Great Lakes Invitational championship tonight with a dominant 6-1 win over RPI at Joe Louis Arena.
MSU never trailed and won fairly easily.
“Obviously, I thought we played well both nights,” said MSU head coach Rick Comley. “Broke down a couple of times, but overall I thought very consistent. I was really pleased with the balance and scoring and people chipping in.”
Brett Perlini was named tournament MVP after being scratched several games this season and having a trying freshman season last year.
"I was just working to try and stay in the lineup," said Perlini. "A couple of good bounces and here I am. I think the hard work has paid off."
Perlini had a goal and an assist in the championship game and was part of a 16-goal, two-day outburst for the Spartans, who decimated Michigan Tech last night, 10-1.
Dustin Gazley added a goal and an assist to go along with single goals from Chris Forfar, Dean Chelios, Jeff Petry and Andrew Rowe.
Petry's play earned praise from RPI head coach Seth Appert.
“They were probably the best combination team that we played this year,” said Appert. “They’re very talented but also very disciplined, very strong on their system play and well coached, and certainly with the best defenseman we’ve seen in the country in Petry. I thought he was special. You can certainly see why he’s one of the best defensemen in the country.”
Drew Palmisano stopped 19 shots to earn his second win of the GLI.
“Palmisano’s play was outstanding, very underrated,” said Comley. “When you score that many goals, you’re going to win, but it wasn’t 10-4, 10-5 last night and 6-3 tonight. He was very good.”
Comley also talked about what it means to win the GLI.
“Winning means everything - losing just sucks the air right out of you,” said Comley. “This is a big tournament for Michigan State. It’s one of the things that you target and it means so much to the three permanent schools that are in this tournament and you don’t ever want to downplay what that means to your community.”
The No. 13 Spartans (14-6-2, 9-3-2 CCHA) face the U.S. National Under-18 Team Monday night at home and then host Lake Superior State for a pair Jan. 8-9.
GLI All-Tournament Team
F - Chase Polacek, RPI
F - Dustin Gazley, MSU
F - Brett Perlini, MSU - MVP
D - Chris Summers, UM
D - Jeff Petry, MSU
G - Drew Palmisano, MSU
Photos by Matt Mackinder/MiCHO