I only was able to catch the first period, but by all accounts, the Spartans were soundly outplayed by the Michigan Tech Huskies in Thursday's Great Lakes Invitational opener.
But great goaltending from Drew Palmisano (44 saves) and a late empty-net goal from Brett Perlini sealed a 3-1 win for MSU. The Spartans head to the GLI final for the 27th time, where they will face No. 20 Michigan, who beat No. 3 Boston College, 4-2. This tournament is always better when MSU and U-M meet, so the Joe should be rocking tomorrow. The teams last played in the final in 2008, when U-M won. MSU beat U-M to win the title in 2006.
Greg Wolfe gave MSU an early 1-0 lead when he buried a rebound on the powerplay. Chris Forfar extended the lead to 2-0 with a second-period goal.
The Huskies led in shots, 30-15, after two, but didn't have anything to show for it. They finally found the net in the third with a goal on a 5-on-3. The Spartans killed off the other penalty and didn't register their first shot in the period until 13 minutes in. They held on and Perlini's empty-netter secured the win.
Normally Michigan Tech is outplayed in the GLI, but goaltending gives them a shot at an upset. But it was the Spartans were in that position Thursday and Palmisano who led them into the championship game. The Huskies outshot MSU, 45-24, in the end. It is MSU's first appearance in the championship since 2009, when they won the tournament.
The Spartans' 12 GLI titles are second only to U-M's 14.
Tomorrow's game begins at 7:30 and will be streamed online at FoxSportsDetroit.com.