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2011 Great Lakes Invitational: Boston College's History In The GLI

On Thursday, the Eagles men's hockey team faces the Michigan Wolverines in the first round of the 2011 Great Lakes Invitational at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit (7:35 PM Eastern start). Entering its 47th year in existence, this year's tournament features Michigan, Michigan Tech, Michigan State and Boston College.

Michigan and Michigan Tech co-host the event, while Michigan State is traditionally selected as the third participant. The Spartans have played in the GLI in every year since 1978.

The tournament's fourth team is a different, visiting team each season. This year, BC will compete in its fourth-ever Great Lakes Invitational.

BC's last appearance in the Great Lakes Invitational was a successful one. In 2003, the Eagles knocked off Michigan 4-1 in the opener and defeated the Spartans 4-3 in the Championship game to take home the program's first GLI title. BC's Joe Pearce was named tournament MVP.

The Eagles also participated in the tournament in 2000 and 1973 -- both third place finishes for BC. In 2000, BC lost the opening round game to Michigan State, 4-1, and won the third-place game over Michigan, 8-5. Way back in '73, BC lost to Michigan State 12-5 (!) in the tournament opener, before knocking off UPenn 6-2 in the third-place game.

Hockey East teams have won three Great Lakes Invitationals -- Boston College (2003), Boston University (2002) and New Hampshire (1969). HEA also has one runner-up finish -- Maine in 1990 -- and eight third place finishes in the Michigan-dominated holiday tournament.

Go Eagles!