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Happy 2011! If you had a break from work, I hope it was restful. If you celebrated anything, I hope that was enjoyable.

Two teams in the CCHA are entering the first week of 2011 and the second half of the season with something to celebrate, and one of them blows my little mind. Congratulations to the Michigan Wolverines, this year’s Great Lakes Invitational champions. Congratulations to the Ohio State Buckeyes, this year’s Catamount Cup victors.

Really. I’m not making that second one up.

GLI

I covered the GLI, and it was a wild one. In every game, goals were scored rapidly in batches. Momentum turned quickly and often. Yet…I never thought Michigan would lose. I was mightily impressed with both Colorado College and Michigan Tech – it was a highly entertaining tourney – but as good as CC is, UM was better. CCHA fans should find some relief in that, as the WCHA looks mighty good to me this year.

It was the 13th GLI title for the Wolverines, who last won the tournament in 2008-09. Said head coach Red Berenson, “It’s good for your confidence to get back to the Joe, which our goal is to get back to the Joe in the CCHA playoffs. To play in a venue like this and have success, it’s good for our young players to get a feel for what it’s like to play in these games and a little history.”

The Wolverines beat Michigan Tech 4-2 in their opening round before beating Colorado College 6-5 in the title game.

Wolverines Luke Glendening, Carl Hagelin and Shawn Hunwick were named to the all-tournament team. With three goals, Glendening was the MVP.

The Spartans lost 5-4 to CC before beating the Huskies 5-3 in the third-place game. Spartan Torey Krug was named to the all-tournament team, but I’m not sure why. I like Krug, but I didn’t think he was one of the two best defenseman for the weekend.

Catamount Cup

I covered the Buckeyes for many years, so I couldn’t be more delighted that OSU won a midseason tournament, even if it was at the expense of the best-looking coaching staff in Division I. OSU hasn’t had the same mid-season success as UM has experienced, in for a program rebuilding, this couldn’t come at a better time. The last time OSU took a midseason tournament was the last Ohio Hockey Classic, in January 2009.

The Buckeyes beat Vermont 3-1 and Army 5-3 to take the Catamount Cup. Danny Dries and Peter Boyd were named to the all-tournament team, and with his three goals, Dries was the tournament MVP. Dries is also this week’s CCHA Offensive Player of the Week.

Connecticut Hockey Classic

Bowling Green lost to Princeton, 4-2, before beating Holy Cross, 3-2. Marc Rodriguez had a goal in each game.

Florida College Classic

Miami beat Maine, 4-1, before losing to St. Cloud State in the title game, 4-3. With his goal and three assists, Reilly Smith was named to the all-tournament team. Cameron Schilling is this week’s CCHA Defenseman of the Week.

Dodge Holiday Classic

Ferris State lost to Bemidji State, 3-2, before tying Minnesota in overtime, 2-2. With two goals, Brett Wysopal was named to the all-tournament team.

Shillelagh Tournament

Notre Dame lost to Minnesota State, 4-3, before playing Boston University to a 3-3 overtime tie, after which the Irish won the shootout. Six different players scored for Notre Dame. Calle Ridderwall had the only shootout goal in three rounds between the Irish and the Terriers.

Nonconference, non-tournament play

Before their disappointing showing in their own tournament, the Irish warmed up on Canisius with a 10-2 win Dec. 29. Ryan Guentzel had a hat trick in that contest, and T.J. Tynan had two goals, contributing to his having been named CCHA Rookie of the Week.

Northern Michigan traveled to Denver for a two-game set, losing to the pioneers 5-2 before tying them, 2-2. Wildcat Justin Florek factored in all four of NMU’s goals, with a marker and three helpers. Goaltender Jared Coreau stopped 44-of-46 in the tie, earning him CCHA Goaltender of the Week honors.

And in exhibition

Lake Superior State is keeping busy with a tour through Ontario. The Lakers swept Nipissing, 7-3 and 7-1, Dec. 31-Jan. 1. As I write this, the Lakers are taking on the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees (again, something I am not making up) and as of the posting of this blog, I don’t have the score. I’ll have more on LSSU’s Ontario tour later in the week.

How did I do?

For the weekend of Dec. 10-12, the last weekend I picked before the holiday tournaments, I went 4-5-0. For the tournaments, I went 10-6-3.

Overall this season: 68-38-18.