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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.

  • mavs_iceman!!!!

    WHO CARES!!!! Mavericks win! Bottom line. Who cares about the second place shoot-out!

    • Gregg

      Sioux took two from the Mavericks in the Mav’s own building. Mavs going nowhere fast

  • Streaker

    FTR, Paula- Michigan won their 14th GLI championship and improved to 50-31-1 all time in the GLI according to Matt Trevor at Michigan.

  • FleasOf1000Camels

    Streaker…you are correct 14 titles. I know it’s shocking to learn that PW can’t be bothered to get facts straight…kind of like the seven-year-old who has just figured out where his Christmas presents really come from.

    FTR: 1966,75,88,89,90,91,92,93,94,95,96,2007,08,10.

  • MackAttack

    Merrimack has hosted an HEA playoff series before, when Maine was declared ineligible…

  • Dmjossel

    Actually Merrimack has hosted one playoff series, against BC, the year that Maine was precluded from post-season play by the NCAA for using an ineligible player.

    Merrimack lost that series.

  • SiouxAlumDenver

    So I take it Theresa has changed her mind about Tech winning a playoff game against the Sioux. Last week in your predictions before the games you predicted sweep then said “Wait until next week when the series will most likely go three.” After the absolute dismantling of Tech last weekend, it appears your eyes have been opened as to just how bad Tech is. Still would have been nice for you to stick to your original prediction and explain why you thought it or why you changed your mind.

    • Theresa Spisak

      Well, it still might happen, as MTU is capable of winning games. Yes, last weekend did help me change my mind. Teams don’t typically get blown out 11-2 on senior night (as Tech did). I think it’s not necessarily a case of finally seeing how bad Tech is, but more of a case of finally admitting that yes, Virginia, North Dakota is dominating right now. I think at times this season I’ve probably been a bit harder on UND than I should be (I may explain why next week …) and wasn’t expecting them to lay quite the smackdown as they did.

      Do I think MTU still has a chance to steal a game? Yes. Will they? Probably not. Thus why I worded my pick the way I did, saying UND will win in most likely two.

      • SiouxAlumDenver

        No worries, everyone has the right to change their mind. I was just giving you a little guff for saying last week that this series will go 3. But who is Virginia??

        • Hockey God

          Virgina was asking about Santa Claus, you may be too young.

          • Theresa Spisak

            Thank you for getting my reference … which is actually a whole lot older than I am.

      • B.D.

        Good analysis.
        Enjoyed it.

  • Hog Pilot

    Teresa: I am a SCSU fan and I really wished you had picked UMD. This season any time you came down in favor of the Huskies they ended up looking like doggie doo. Either way I have enjoyed your colunm this year.

  • bulldog4life

    Theresa- Don’t lose sleep over your Sue pick. People change there minds daily. This Sue fan is like the rest of them and just want to pick people apart to be cool or funny. They get there kicks out of doing that.

    • SiouxAlumDenver

      Actually I wasn’t picking her apart at all. And wasn’t trying to be cool or funny. I asked a question as to why she changed her mind. Get over yourself and your hatred for the best team in country that destroyed your team this year.

  • Daggdagg5

    CC does it again. Coming from behind and winning the series. On to the final five! Fight on Tigers! Taking the WCHA by storm! Sioux Suck!

  • GS

    I’m personally thrilled for UAA and for Bemidji State. The Gophers somehow think it’s their entitlement to be in the Final Five as well as the NCAA tournament. (Read Maturi’s remarks in today’s Star Tribune.)