Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Western Michigan Broncos win Great Lakes Invitational Tournament
It was pond hockey on a grand scale this weekend past in Detroit as Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers played host to the Great Lakes Invitational Tournament, the high profile US college hockey tournament that usually sets up shop at the Joe Louis Arena.
This year the tournament went outdoors, as part of the lead up to the Winter Classic of New Years Day between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs, set for the famed Big House of the University of Michigan.
Friday and Saturday however was the outdoor showcase for Michigan hockey, as the University of Western Michigan Broncos took the top prize with wins both Friday and Saturday on the frozen field of Comerica.
For Prince Rupert's Frank Slubowski the tournament experience for the most part was viewed from the Bronco's bench, as head coach Andy Murray decided to reward the Bronco's Lukas Hafner with the start on Friday.
With his win that night, Lafner was the choice for the Saturday championship game as well.
That was a coaching decision that clearly went well for Murray, as Lafner was named Tournament MVP for his performances in both games of the weekend.
It may signal a shift in thinking for the Broncos head coach, who may now make more use of Lafner heading down the home stretch of the NCAA season and the quest for a placement in the Frozen Four college championships.
Lafner has answered the call with confidence over the last few months, giving Murray much to think about regarding his goaltending assignments moving into 2014.
Still, trying to decide between a hot rookie goaltender and a contender from last year for the Hobey Baker awards is a problem that most would probably want to have.
Boxscores of the weekend games can be found below
WMU 1, Michigan Tech 0
WMU 3, Michigan 2 (OT)
You can review some of the items of interest from the Tournament below.
WMU hockey wins Great Lakes Invitational with gritty 1-0 win over Michigan Tech at Comerica Park
3 Things I took away from Western Michigan winning the GLI at Comerica Park
Andy Murray savors WMU"s GLI championship
WMU hockey defeats Michigan Tch 1-0 in OT to win GLI Championship at Comerica Park
Broncos claim Great Lakes Invitational Championship
Michigan Tech, Western Michigan make GLI final
Western clips Michigan in OT on Josh Pitt's end-to-end rush
Pitt's OT winner pushes WMU into GLI Championship
WMU hockey defeats No. 3 Michigan, 3-2, at Comerica Park with Josh Pitt's last-minute OT goal
Great Lakes Invitational openers need extra innings at Comerica Park
WMU's Andy Murray, a Detroit Tigers fan, calls playing outdoors at Comerica Park 'pretty neat'
WMU hockey team enjoys program's first outdoor game, atmosphere at Comerica Park
WMU hockey coach Andy Murray, Michigan's Red Berenson bring different experiences to outdoor GLI games
Bronco Hockey Heads Outdoors to the GLI
The Broncos next return to NCAA action next weekend when they take on NCHC rival Miami of Ohio on January 10 and 11.
You can catch up on past items about Frank Slubowski's journey in the NCAA from our archive page.