Bowling Green Wins First GLI Title
CHN Staff Report
DETROIT With a 4-1 victory over Michigan Tech, Bowling Green earned the Great Lakes Invitational Championship title for the first time in program history. In the tournament's first year at Little Caesars Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings, the Falcons first downed Michigan, 6-4, in the Jan. 1 semifinals to advance to the championship.
The wins also helped Bowling Green move up to No. 18 in the Pairwise.
With a tournament-leading five points through two games played, sophomore forward Lukas Craggs was named GLI MVP.
It's the second straight year Michigan Tech lost in the championship game — last year losing to Western Michigan.
"I give full credit to the way Bowling Green played the hockey game tonight," Tech coach Joe Shawhan said. "We were able to play the way we wanted to through the first two periods. It turned into the Bowling Green style game in the third period. I think they had a way of breaking our will a little bit."
Michigan, which dominated this tournament for so many years, placed third for the second consecutive season by defeating Michigan State in the consolation game.
After a quiet start to the first period, the Falcons were able to capitalize on the power play for the fourth game in a row as senior Brett D'Andrea picked up the rebound down low and took the wide angle shot that found its way behind the Michigan Tech goaltender.
After Michigan Tech evened the score early in the second period, the Falcons were able to respond midway through the period as junior John Schilling carried the puck up the boards. Freshman Connor Ford was ready at the crease for the rebound.
The Huskies thought they had tied the game again late in the second period, but a goal was overturned after a lengthy review.
"I didn't agree with the call, but I don't think that was the difference in the game," Shawhan said. "We still had some power plays after that and chances to score some goals."
Schilling gave the Falcons some breathing room by scoring with eight minutes left in regulation. Senior captain Mitch McLain passed the puck from the hashmarks to Schilling waiting at the back door. And Tyler Spezia scored a minute later to seal it.