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GLI Champs

The Wolverines hung on for a 2-1 win to claim their 16th GLI Championship

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

For two teams missing players and still looking for their breakthrough moments this season, a GLI Championship meeting between Michigan and Michigan State felt like a vintage matchup from both team's glory years.

The Wolverines jumped out to an early lead on Andrew Copp's 8th goal of the year, and took a 2-0 lead in the second on a roofed backhand from Zach Hyman. The Spartans were down, disconnected and looked lost, but in this series no matter how down a team gets they always find a way to push back.

The Spartans came out of the locker room and started the 3rd period like a new team, scratching and clawing themselves within one on a point shot that zipped cleanly through traffic and beat Steve Racine but Racine would stand tall against the Michigan State pressure in the final minutes to seal Michigan's 16th GLI Championship.

Three Keys

  1. Steve Racine: The Wolverines would not have been in position to win either game without the heroics of Racine, who won GLI MVP for posting a .972 SV% for the weekend with a 40 save effort against Tech and a 31 save performance against State. A sign of a confident goaltender is positioning and Racine played out on the edge of the paint all weekend, challenging shooters and cutting down angles.
  2. Line Combinations: I was intrigued by Berenson's decision to sit Alex Talcott and dress seven defensemen. Once again, the wizardry of Red Berenson paid off as Sam Piazza was a solid anchor on the 2nd pairing, Cutler Martin added a goal against Tech and Mike Chiasson came away with a key block late in the game to protect the lead.
  3. Zach Hyman: With Motte, Larkin and Compher at World Juniors, the Wolverines needed a collective effort to shoulder the scoring load. Instead, Hyman did it himself scoring the game winning goals in both games. In his his first 114 games at Michigan, Hyman scored 13 goals. In 17 games this year he's got 9.

All-Tournament Team

Andrew Copp

Tanner Kero

Zach Hyman

Rhett Holland

Mike Downing

Steve Racine

Jack Tompkins Trophy

Steve Racine