DETROIT — For the first time since 1987, the Michigan Wolverines will not be in the Great Lakes Invitational’s championship game. They can thank Michigan Tech.
The Huskies put together a complete performance, stunning No. 4 Michigan 7-3 before a crowd of 17,744 at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night.
Matt Ulwelling scored two goals and had two assists, and Detroit native Jarrett Weinberger added two goals and an assist for Michigan Tech (4-13-1). Brian Rogers made 36 saves for the Huskies.
Jed Ortmeyer had a goal and two assists for the Wolverines (13-4-3).
“We have a lot of guts in that locker room,” said Weinberger. “Guys are working and giving all they’ve got, and that’s all Coach [Mike] Sertich asks.”
Tech came out flying, hitting everything in sight in the first period. Despite generating several quality scoring opportunities, the Huskies fired wide of the net several times.
“We started off with a bang,” commented Sertich. “I thought we could have been ahead.”
Rogers made a spectacular glove save on a shorthanded breakaway by Scott Matzka to keep the game scoreless.
The period looked like it was going to end in a 0-0 tie, but Ortmeyer streaked in from the left side, cut in front of the net, and beat Rogers with 1.1 seconds left on the clock.
But the Huskies evened things up early in the second period. After the Wolverines failed to control a faceoff in their own end, Tech’s Paul Cabana took a pass from Brad Patterson and buried it behind Michigan goaltender Josh Blackburn.
Michigan Tech took a 2-1 lead on a Mat Snesrud slapshot from the point that found the back of the net. Ulwelling and Justin Brown picked up assists.
Geoff Koch of Michigan answered with a wrist shot that beat Rogers at 15:31 to make it a 2-2 tie.
But the resilient Huskies bounced right back at the 16:48 mark. Weinberger picked up a loose puck and fired it into the net during a wild scramble in front of the Michigan crease.
Ulwelling made it a 4-2 game when he scored on a rebound as he was crashing to the net at 2:30 of the third period.
Michigan’s David Wyzgowski cut the lead to one when he scored his first collegiate goal at 7:25.
But it was all Michigan Tech from there.
Weinberger scored his second on the power play at 11:10, Lardner scored on a pretty pass from Cabana at 14:10, and Ulwelling scored into an empty net at 18:12.
“I grew up coming to the GLI every year,” continued Weinberger. “There’s nothing better than putting on a show like this for our fans and families.”
The Huskies will now make their first appearance in the GLI title game since 1991. Tech will play No. 1 Michigan State at 7:30 ET.
“We’re just looking forward to it,” said Ulwelling. “It’s another challenge, another bump in the road for us. Tonight was the start of a new season for us.”
Michigan will take on Boston College in the consolation game at 4:30 ET.
“They were the hungrier team,” said Michigan coach Red Berenson of the Huskies. “Their goals were timely and we were pretty much playing catch-up hockey after their second goal. I don’t think we’ve played that poorly in three years. I want to give Tech credit because they deserved to win.”