Let me say this first, before anything else: Congratulations to the Michigan Tech Huskies on their impressive 2012 Great Lakes Invitational title. I know I should be sad for the CCHA, the league that had three teams in this tournament’s field, but I am delighted that former Michigan assistant Mel Pearson and his staff brought the MacInnes Cup home to Houghton for the first time since 1980.
Now let me say this: What a disappointing midseason showing for the CCHA. Three tourneys and no titles — in the league’s last season, too.
Sad. Just sad.
Here are three things I learned from the weekend.
1. Robert Morris owns Ohio. Okay, so that’s a bit exaggerated for effect, but the fact remains that the Colonials are 2-0-1 versus teams from Ohio — and not coincidentally, teams from the CCHA — this season. RMU defeated OSU in Columbus, 3-2, Dec. 7 before tying with the Buckeyes 2-2 at home the following night. On Saturday, the Colonials beat Miami 1-0 in the title game of the inaugural Three Rivers Classic, in spite of the RedHawks’ 51 shots on goal to the Colonials’ 21.
That tournament also provided the first Division I meeting between Penn State and a Big Ten foe. The Nittany Lions got the better of the Buckeyes in that one, the consolation game, 5-4.
2. When the Wolverines beat the Spartans this season, they need at least five goals to do it. Close games between UM and MSU this season? Not a chance. The teams met for a home-and-home series Nov. 9-10, with the Wolverines winning 5-1 the first night and Spartans taking the 7-2 rematch, each a home win. In that 5-1 game, Michigan exploded for three third-period goals; in Sunday’s GLI third-place game, the Wolverines came from behind with four third-period goals, resulting in a 5-2 win.
3. In spite of recent evidence to the contrary, Ferris State can score goals. It’s tough to score nine goals in a weekend and lose a game, but that’s what the Bulldogs did in Estero, Fla., in the Florida College Classic. FSU lost 5-3 to Cornell Friday before demolishing Minnesota-Duluth 6-2 Saturday, but there is good news in all of it; nine different Bulldogs scored and the two-game total topped the total from four previous games FSU played in December.