DETROIT – The proud tradition of ‘College Hockey in the D’ is set to continue unabated at Joe Louis Arena as three prominent NCAA events will be presented by Olympia Entertainment in the coming months. This year’s slate of action will once again include the Great Lakes Invitational (December 29-30, 2011), the annual JLA-staged University of Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State University Spartans showdown (February 11, 2012), and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (CCHA) Championship Tournament (March 16-17, 2012).
Entering its 47th year of existence, the 2011 edition of the Great Lakes Invitational will feature tournament mainstays Michigan (CCHA), Michigan State (CCHA) and Michigan Tech (WCHA) along with special invitee Boston College of Hockey East. Joe Louis Arena has hosted this event annually since 1979, with the Wolverines having won three of the past four tournaments and the Spartans having laid claim to the prestigious title in 2009. The single-elimination-style tournament will begin with MSU vs. Michigan Tech at 4:00 p.m. on December 29 followed by a battle between Boston College and Michigan later that evening (puck drop – 7:30 p.m.). The two winning teams will then compete for the GLI title at 7:30 p.m. the following night, with the consolation game set to be staged immediately beforehand (puck drop – 4:00 p.m.)
Longstanding rivals Michigan and Michigan State will also square off in a regular season CCHA contest on February 11 (puck drop – 7:30 p.m.). The Spartans earned a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the Wolverines in last year’s battle at The Joe before a boisterous crowd of nearly 18,000 strong.
For the 31st consecutive year, Joe Louis Arena is set to be the site at which the final two rounds of the CCHA Championship Tournament will be staged. Teams from the 11-member conference will begin the ‘Road to The Joe’ with their opening round playoff matchups on March 2, with the final four squads set to hit the ice at JLA two weeks later (March 16-17) to determine a champion.
Tickets to all three 2011-12 College Hockey in the D events are currently available for purchase at the JLA Box Office (313-396-7575), all Ticketmaster (800-745-3000) outlets, and online at OlympiaEntertainment.com.