(Courtesy of Michigan Tech Athletics)
SETTING THE SCENE
The 47th edition of the Great Lakes Invitational Hockey Tournament sets up to be one of the more memorable in recent history. All four teams have been nationally ranked this season, and all four bring in .500 or better records. The event also features two first-year head coaches (Tech’s Mel Pearson and Michigan State’s Tom Anastos) squaring off in one semifinal while two college hockey veterans (Michigan’s Red Berenson and Boston College’s Jerry York) face each other in the second semifinal.
PEARSON HOPES TO CONTINUE GLI SUCCESS
Michigan Tech’s last GLI title came in 1980, when Huskies’ coach Mel Pearson was a student-athlete. Tech won the GLI title all four years Pearson wore a Huskies sweater, including the 1979 title when he scored the game-winning goal in a 5-4 triple overtime victory over Michigan. Pearson’s since been a part of 29 more GLI Tournaments-six as an assistant at Michigan Tech and the last 23 as an assistant at Michigan. In 33 GLI Tournaments, Pearson’s team has won 16 titles.
MICHIGAN TECH AND THE GLI
Legendary Michigan Tech head coach John MacInnes founded the Great Lakes Invitational in 1965 along with Olympia Stadium General Manager Lincoln Cavalieri, Red Wings Scout Jack Paterson and American Airlines Vice President Jack Tompkins. The Huskies have served as the tournament’s host since its inception. The tournament was played at Olympia Stadium its first 14 years before moving to Joe Louis Arena in 1979.
THE GOALIE SITUATION
Junior Kevin Genoe played the final two periods of Tech’s 4-1 loss at NMU (Dec. 16) and made 17 saves on 18 shots in relief. The action was Genoe’s first in eight games. The junior, who earned no decision, holds a 1-2-0 record on the season with an 2.74 goals against average and .872 save percentage in four appearances. Senior Josh Robinson has played in 16 games this season with an 8-7-1 record, a 2.72 goals against average and a .914 save percentage to his credit. Either goaltender could see action in Detroit this weekend.
ANOTHER PIETILA JOINS THE MIX
Chad Pietila could suit up for the Huskies for the first time this weekend. He sat out the last two semesters after transferring from Northern Michigan mid-season a year ago. Chad will join two family members on the active roster. Brother Blake Pietila has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 19 games this season. Cousin Aaron Pietila (11 GP, 1-2–3) scored his first goal of the season in Tech’s last action-a 4-1 loss at Northern Michigan Dec. 16.
TOMMY BROWN AVAILABLE
Michigan Tech’s defensive corps will get a little deeper this week as junior Tommy Brown returns. The junior played in Tech’s first two games before a medical condition kept him out of the lineup for the last 17 contests.
Michigan Tech is 78-73-2 all-time against its GLI semifinal opponent Michigan State. Thursday’s (Dec. 29) meeting will be the 154th meeting between the teams since the series began in 1927. Tech has an even longer series with Michigan, stretching back 218 games to 1921. The Wolverines own a 120-93-5 advantage over the Huskies. Tech is 3-6-0 all-time against Boston College, its other potential GLI opponent.
SEIGO ADDS ANOTHER ASSIST; NOW AT 50 CAREER POINTS
Junior defenseman Steven Seigo had an assist at Northern Michigan to run his season point total to 3-11–14. The assistant captain ranks 20th in the nation in points per game among defenseman at 0.74. The assist at NMU was the 50th point of Seigo’s 93-game career.
OLSON PACES HUSKIES
Captain Brett Olson continues to lead Michigan Tech in scoring with six goals and 13 assists on the year. The senior has 19 points in 19 games for a 1.0 average-tied for 49th among all players nationally. Olson has tallied at least one point in 15-of-19 games this season
THIS AND THAT
Tech went 0-for-5 on the power play at Northern Michigan, but still owns the nation’s 18th best power-play unit at 21.4 percent (18-of-84) … The Huskies will carry a .500 record into the GLI for the first time since 1997-98, when they were 9-8-2 en route to a 17-20-3 finish … Thursday’s (Dec. 29) game is the first and only non-weekend game on Tech’s 2011-12 schedule … Tech has scored the game’s first goal in 10-of-19 contests this season and are 7-2-1 in those games. The Huskies are 2-7-0 when their opponent scores first.
Michigan Tech will then have 13 days off following the GLI before hosting Alaska Anchorage in a WCHA series at the John MacInnes Student Ice Jan. 13-14.