Great Lakes Invitational going outdoors in December

The 48th annual Great Lakes Invitational will be played outdoors at Detroit’s Comerica Park as part of the Hockeytown Winter Festival and in connection with the NHL’s annual Winter Classic, which will feature the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium.

These events were officially announced Thursday morning at Comerica Park, home of MLB’s Detroit Tigers.

The GLI games will be played Dec. 28 and 29 and all teams are from Michigan. The semifinals on Dec. 28 will pit Michigan Tech against Michigan followed by Michigan State vs. Western Michigan in the second. The third-place and championship games will be played Dec. 29.

“This is a great opportunity to showcase some of the best college hockey in the state in a unique environment,” said Michigan Tech athletic director Suzanne Sanregret in a statement. “We look forward to working with Olympia Entertainment and Comerica Park to host a memorable event for our student-athletes and fans.”

“Playing the GLI at Comerica Park will provide a truly unique event for fans and our players,” said Michigan head coach Red Berenson in a separate statement. “We’ve obviously played in outdoor games in the past, but never in a tournament format like this. I would expect it to be a great experience for everyone involved.”

Also at the Comerica Park venue, a game between notable Red Wings and Maple Leafs alumni is on tap along with other games from youth, high school, major junior and minor professional levels.

Game times for the GLI and the full schedule for the Hockeytown Winter Festival will be announced at a later date.