While the Griffins are providing Grand Rapidians with their normal fill of American Hockey League action, the Great Lakes Invitational will make its first venture to West Michigan with its 57th edition Dec. 27-28 at Van Andel Arena.
The annual tournament is a two-day, four-team event hosted by Michigan Tech, but Michigan became a co-host in 1976.
This year, it features Michigan State, Ferris State, Michigan Tech and Western Michigan. It is the first time since 1978 that just one of Michigan and Michigan State plays in the GLI, and the first time since 1973 that Michigan has missed the tournament. Michigan State has won the event 12 times, second all-time behind Michigan’s 17 titles.
The tournament, first held in 1965, has largely been held in Detroit, at Olympia Stadium, Joe Louis Arena and Little Caesars Arena. Aside from an 2013 outdoor game at Comerica Park and the 2021 pandemic-affected non-tournament showcases at Michigan’s Yost Arena and Michigan State’s Munn Ice Arena, it is the first GLI outside of the home venue of the Detroit Red Wings.