Hockey: MSU Upends Michigan in GLI Championship

A valiant effort by the undermanned Wolverines fell just short at Joe Louis Arena tonight as the Michigan State Spartans upset the No. 3 Wolverines 2-1 in the Great Lakes Invitational championship game.<br>

Despite giving up the game winning goal in overtime, Wolverine goalie Noah Ruden provided 35 saves in the contest keeping the Wolverines in this one until the final goal was scored.

Michigan State struck first in what would be a back and forth contest taking advantage of a penalty on the Wolverines Jason Ryznar for checking from behind.

Spartan Jim Slater was credited with the goal, which actually found the back of the net off the stick of a Wolverine defenseman. With the puck behind the net, Michigan State's Drew Miller created the opportunity for Slater. A quick pass found the streaking Slater, who flung a shot towards the net, off a Wolverine stick, and into the back of the net.

A scoreless second period would follow, but a great individual effort by Wolverine forward Brandon Kaleniecki would even the score early the third.

With the puck behind the Spartan net, Kaleniecki skated around looking for the wrap around chance. Spartan goaltender Dominic Vicari made the initial save, but as Kaleniecki was dragged down on ice, he kept whacking at the loose puck in front of the net and eventually slipped it past the goalie with 18:49 remaining in the game.

Both teams would squander their chances for the remainder of the third period and the game would eventually be settled in sudden death overtime.

The extra period started with the Wolverines on the attack, but Vicari was up to the challenge keeping the puck out of the net on every chance the Wolverines had.

Momentum slowly started swinging towards the Spartans direction, however, and an odd man rush led to a shot that beat Ruden, but clanged off the post as play continued.

Michigan State continued to apply pressure and it paid off for the Spartans when Colton Fretter took advantage of a misplayed puck by Ruden behind the Michigan net.

After Ruden attempted to play the puck behind the net to a Wolverine defenseman, Michigan State's Drew Miller laid out to get a stick on the puck, pushing it to Colton who was along in front of the Michigan net. A quick shot found the back of the goal before Ruden could get back from behind the net, and the Spartan's clinched the GLI Championship.

With the GLI completed, the Wolverine hockey team gets back into CCHA play on Jan. 7 against Alaska-Fairbanks.

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