Posted Dec. 30
DETROIT – Michigan won its first Great Lakes Invitational title since 1996 with a 1-0, double overtime win over Michigan Tech Saturday. Two minutes and thirty-two seconds into the second overtime period, junior Travis Turnbull tipped freshman Scooter Vaughan’s slapshot from the blue line past Michigan Tech goalie Rob Nolan for the game’s only score.
The game, which lasted three and a half hours, was Michigan’s longest game since its triple-overtime loss to Maine in 1995. It was just the second GLI title game shutout in tournament history.
Michigan goalie Billy Sauer continued his consistent play by notching 37 saves Saturday and finishing with 87 saves on the weekend, a performance strong enough to earn him tournament MVP honors. Sauer’s shutout streak now stands at 166 minutes and 7 seconds, with his last goal allowed against Bowling Green in the second period of the Dec. 7 game. Sauer’s solid saves in the first overtime period, including a stellar stop on a one-timer by Michigan Tech captain Jimmy Kerr, kept the Wolverines in the game after the first 60 scoreless minutes. Michigan Tech goalie Rob Nolan finished with 45 saves Saturday and allowed just two goals on 74 shots this weekend.
The Wolverines played without freshmen forwards Max Pacioretty, Matt Rust and Carl Hagelin and sophomore defenseman Chris Summers, who are competing in the World Junior Championships in the Czech Republic. The abbreviated roster was strengthened by freshman Louie Caporusso’s return to the ice for the first weekend since suffering a knee injury in early November. Junior Brandon Naurato, who, along with Vaughan, assisted on Saturday’s game-winner, made his first starts of the season in both of this weekend’s games.
After defeating No. 5 Michigan State 4-1 Friday, Michigan Tech (7-9-2) came out physical against the first-ranked Wolverines (18-2). Big hits dominated the first period of play and the teams combined for 19 penalties in the game. The Michigan defense, led by newly minted alternate captain Mark Mitera, blocked a total of 25 shots.
Michigan was 0-for-8 with the man advantage and the Huskies were able to kill a critical penalty with less than two minutes left in regulation, preventing the Wolverines from gaining momentum going into the first overtime period.
Early in the second overtime, Michigan Tech forward Eric Kattelus faked out Sauer, but his shot clanged off the post. A minute later, Turnbull’s goal sealed the Wolverines’ 12th GLI championship and snapped Michigan’s six-game losing streak in the GLI title game.
Read The Michigan Daily on Thursday, January 3 for full coverage of this weekend’s action.