DETROIT — For the first time ever, the Ferris State University men's ice hockey team has received an invitation to compete in the 2014 Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) and will help celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of college hockey's oldest and most prestigious events at historic Joe Louis Arena in Detroit.
The fields for the next four GLI hockey tournaments were announced today by Michigan Tech athletic director Suzanne Sanregret. The Huskies serve as the host of the annual four-team event with Michigan and Michigan State as mainstays in the event.
The hockey holiday tradition will have an all-Michigan flavor for the next four years.
Western Michigan will join the Huskies, Wolverines and Spartans at this December's outdoor tournament at Comerica Park. Ferris State will then help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the GLI when it returns to Joe Louis Arena in 2014. Tech's arch rival, Northern Michigan, has been invited to play in the 2015 GLI. Western Michigan returns again in 2016 as the invitational team.
"We're thrilled to be asked to represent Ferris State University in one of college hockey's oldest and most prestigious tournaments," said FSU head coach Bob Daniels. "Over the years, when we've gone to Joe Louis Arena for the Central College Hockey Association (CCHA) playoffs, our fans have done an outstanding job of supporting and following us so they made a strong case for our team to be part of this great event.
"Additionally, our new affiliation with the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) has opened up some doors for us to be invited to tournaments such as this and helped make this invitation possible," he added.
Official dates and start times for the 2014 event are still to be announced pending the release of the Detroit Red Wings' 2014-15 National Hockey League (NHL) schedule and potential home games at JLA, which will be announced next summer.
The Bulldogs will join a list of college hockey powers who have played in the GLI over the years such as Wisconsin, Boston College, North Dakota, Colorado College, New Hampshire, Boston, Harvard, Maine and more.
"Ferris State and our hockey program could not be more excited about participating in the Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena in 2014," said FSU Athletics Director Perk Weisenburger. "Playing in the 50th Anniversary of the GLI with Michigan Tech, Michigan and Michigan State will be a special event for Bulldog Hockey and our fan base."
The Great Lakes Invitational was first played in 1965 after the idea for the tournament was conceived and implemented by Michigan Tech coach John MacInnes, Olympia Stadium General Manager Lincoln Cavalieri and Detroit Red Wings Scout Jack Paterson. The tournament, which has been played in late December every year, has grown into one of the nation's premier
holiday sporting events with more than 1.3 million fans in attendance since its inception.
"We're excited to be able to renew some in-state rivalries at the GLI in the coming years," said Sanregret. "The Detroit Red Wings, Olympia Entertainment, Michigan and Michigan State have been great partners with Michigan Tech over the years. We look forward to adding to the great tradition and history of the tournament."
Michigan Tech has won the GLI 10 times in 48 appearances including last year via a pair of 4-0 victories. Michigan has competed in 43 GLI's and has claimed 15 titles. Meanwhile, Michigan State owns 12 GLI crowns in 39 tries.
The 2013 Great Lakes Invitational is set for Dec. 27 and 28 outdoors at Comerica Park, home of Major League Baseball's Detroit Tigers. The GLI will lead off five consecutive days of hockey at Comerica as part of the Sirius XM Hockeytown Winter Festival before returning to Joe Louis Arena for the 50th anniversary in 2014.
Ferris State will embark on its first season in the WCHA during the upcoming 2013-14 campaign. The Bulldogs wrapped up their final season of CCHA competition in 2012-13 and earned a first-round tournament bye for the fourth consecutive year, one of only two schools to accomplish the feat in the final four years of the league.
This past season's campaign came on the heels of a historic 2011-12 campaign in which Ferris State received its first-ever number one national ranking, won the CCHA regular-season championship, claimed the NCAA Midwest Regional crown and advanced to
the Frozen Four for the first time in school history.
This coming season, in 2013-14, the Bulldogs will face all three other 2014 GLI entrants. FSU squares off against Michigan Tech four times over the course of two seperate weekends in January. The Bulldogs first host the Huskies on Jan. 10-11 at the Ewigleben Ice Arena before returning to Houghton on Jan. 24-25 for a two-game league set.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs will also take on both Michigan and Michigan State in the same week as part of its December regular-season schedule. FSU squares off against the Wolverines on Dec. 11 at Yost Ice Arena in Ann Arbor before traveling to battle Michigan State at Munn Ice Arena in East Lansing on Dec. 14.
Ferris State will officially open the 2013-14 season on the road at Colgate in a non-league series set for Oct. 5-6 in Hamilton, N.Y. The regular-season home opener is set for Friday, Oct. 18, as FSU entertains St. Lawrence in Big Rapids with the squad's first WCHA home series slated for Nov. 8-9 versus Bemidji State.
Reserved season tickets for the 2013-14 campaign are currently on sale to the general public and must be purchased by this Friday (Sept. 13) at 5 p.m. (ET). Single-game tickets for the 2013-14 campaign will go on sale next Monday (Sept. 16) at 9 a.m. (ET).
Tickets can be purchased by calling the FSU Athletics Ticket Office at (231) 591-2888 or by stopping by the ticket office inside the Ewigleben Sports Complex. The ticket office is open Monday thru Friday from 9 a.m. (ET) to 5 p.m. (ET). Single-game tickets will also be available online at StarTickets.com. For more information, please visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com.