Great Lakes Invitational Hockey Schedule
One of the most highly anticipated events in the entire college hockey
season is the annual Great Lakes Invitational Hockey tournament. The tournament consists of four teams, typically including
Michigan, Michigan State, Michigan Tech, and another team located in the Great Lakes area. Michigan and Michigan State have
a long and storied history as rivals in all college athletics and their rivalry in the hockey rink is certainly no exception.
Be prepared for some of the most bone-rattling hits as well as the fiercest competition on ice when the four schools collide
for the annual Great Lakes Invitational. College athletics offers up some of the best competition in the world of sports and
the student athletes representing some of college hockey's premiere institutions make you immediately aware of this fact from
the second they take the ice. If you are a college hockey fan, or even just a college sports fan, you owe it to yourself to
check out the Great Lakes Invitational in person.
Each winter the game takes place at the historic Joe Louis Arena in
Detroit, Michigan. The intensity of this tournament and the rivalry as a whole is simply too big to be relegated to a college
arena, so it takes place year after year at one of the most revered hockey arenas in the world. Check out StubHub for tickets
and information regarding the date and face off time for this year's Great Lakes Invitational.
of the teams chosen to participate in the Great Lakes Invitational are perennial contenders, and perhaps no school has a more
storied program than the Michigan Wolverines, who are annual participants. Clearly success on the ice is nothing new to the
Wolverines, as they have also won nine conference tournament championships. Coach Red Berenson will be looking to fire up
the troops and to get the most out of them this season. Should he be successful there could be no stopping the Wolverines
on the ice. Led by junior defenseman and captain Mac Bennett, Michigan will undoubtedly have a staunch defense that will not
be easy to score on. Senior Derek DeBlois will be looking to light up the scoreboard at the forward position once again but
this year he should have even more help from sophomore forward Andrew Copp. This could well be the year that the Wolverines
return to their dominance of the Big 10 and possibly bring home the first national championship in almost two decades. Of
course, the other teams in the tournament will be looking to make their mark on the college hockey landscape and look to take
the Wolverines down a peg.
Hockey fans in general are some of the most passionate sports
fans around, but nothing quite matches the fanaticism surrounding college hockey and the four teams chosen to participate
have hockey fans who are some of the most dedicated and vociferous fans in the entire NCAA. On game day at Joe Lewis Arena,
the fans file in and take their seats when the cheering and chanting begins. As the clock winds down closer and closer to
the dropping of the puck the crowd works itself into a frenzy. Finally both teams are ready for face off and the excitement
really begins. Thunderous, bone-rattling hits, incredible displays of speed and agility, powerful slapshots, and tremendous
saves set the arena on fire for the following three periods of world class college hockey. By the time the final buzzer sounds
your voice is hoarse and your palms are stinging from clapping and giving high fives and you will already be planning a return
trip next year.
Great Lakes Invitational Hockey History
The Great Lakes Invitational has been one of the
hallmarks of the college hockey season since its inaugural event in 1965. It was born out of a conversation between Lincoln
Cavalieri and John MacInnes, who were lamenting the lack of American born players in the NHL. The two decided to create the
tournament as a way to showcase players for the local universities in hopes of getting them exposure to NHL scouts. The first
event was held at Olympia Stadium which was its home for the first thirteen years before it moved to Joe Lewis Arena. The
2013 event was held outside at Comerica Park before a return to Joe Lewis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL.
Initially the 2012 Great Lakes Invitational was to be held outside at Comerica Park, the home of the Detroit
Tigers of Major League Baseball, but the event was canceled because of the inability to get a hockey rink on the field. Instead,
the 2013 Great Lakes Invitational was held at the ballpark for one year only. Michigan has participated in the event 44 times
and leads the way with 15 championships, followed by Michigan State with 12 titles in 40 attempts.