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GLI Champs

Michigan scores four unanswered goals to win their 17th Great Lakes Invitational title

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

This year's GLI featured three one goal games with two that ended in overtime, so it was only fitting that the championship game between Michigan and Michigan Tech would go down to the wire.

Tech's gameplan was simple. They knew Michigan was shorthanded on the blueline so the Huskies tried to wear the Wolverine defensemen down by making them chase pucks and win board battles.

It worked to perfection to start the game and Michigan fell behind early by two goals, the first on a puck sneaking by Steve Racine on the game's first shot. After a lifeless penalty kill that allowed Brent Baltus to park himself in front of Racine and easily deflect a puck Tech led 2-0 going into the intermission.

But when the Wolverines came out of the locker room they were a different team. Once they pushed the pace and got their forechecking going suddenly a Michigan Tech squad who had looked so good to start the game started feeling the pressure.

The Wolverines would reel off three second period goals with Tony Calderone netting the first; later Kyle Connor lasered a puck wide that was redirected by Tyler Motte to tie the game and Alex Kile broke the tie getting a loose puck that was blocked and sinking it. Sam Piazza would seal the game later on the empty netter.

Steve Racine shrugged off two early goals and took over this game. He was fantastic this entire weekend and was just edged out for GLI MVP by Kyle Connor, who was also outstanding in this game. Both players earned spots on the All-Tournament team along with Sam Piazza.

Piazza was a quiet star Friday night. A repeat performance Saturday put him on the map. Piazza hasn't played much this year but he took full advantage of the opportunity and showcased his skills as a nimble puck mover. He looked comfortable running Michigan's number one power play unit and ended up with a 3 point weekend.

The Wolverines claimed back-to-back GLI titles and their 17th overall. Up next, a home and away series with Michigan State.