Michigan State University
For sports fans, there is nothing quite like the intensity and excitement of rivalries. They bring a level of passion and competition that elevates the game to a whole new level. In the world of college hockey, there is no shortage of intense rivalries, but perhaps none are as rich in history and tradition as the one between Michigan State University and their rivals.
Born out of a geographical and cultural divide, the rivalry between Michigan State University and their in-state neighbors has been a source of pride and animosity for decades. It has produced some of the most memorable and important matchups in the history of college hockey, solidifying its place as one of the greatest rivalries in the sport. In this article, we will take a trip down memory lane and revisit some of the most important matchups in the history of Michigan State hockey.
The Early Years: From the Club Level to NCAA
In the early days, Michigan State and their rivals had a fierce rivalry at the club level, with both teams vying for dominance in the Great Lakes region. But in 1949, the rivalry took on a new level of intensity when both teams joined the NCAA. From then on, Michigan State and their rivals have faced each other continuously at least twice a year, cementing their rivalry as one of the oldest and most consistent in college hockey.
The First NCAA Matchup: 1952 GLI Final
It didn’t take long for the first NCAA matchup between these two bitter rivals to take place. In 1952, Michigan State and their rivals met in the final of the Great Lakes Invitational Tournament (GLI). The game was a back-and-forth affair, with Michigan State coming out on top with a score of 5-4. This marked the beginning of a series of epic matchups between these two teams, setting the stage for future showdowns to come.
The Egbert Cup: The Ultimate Showdown
In the 1970s, the rivalry between Michigan State and their rivals reached new heights with the creation of the Egbert Cup, named after the first president of the GLI. The trophy was awarded to the winner of the annual game between the two teams, adding another layer of significance to an already intense rivalry.
Some of the most memorable and crucial games in the history of this rivalry have been for the Egbert Cup. In 1990, Michigan State defeated their rivals with a score of 5-4 in a triple-overtime thriller, earning their sixth consecutive Egbert Cup and solidifying their dominance in the rivalry. However, the following year, their rivals got revenge by winning their first Egbert Cup since 1984. The back-and-forth nature of this matchup has only added to the heated rivalry between these two teams.
The Duel in the D: A Frozen Four Classic
In 2001, Michigan State and their rivals met in the Frozen Four semifinal for the first time, in what would become one of the most iconic and significant games in the history of this rivalry. The game was dubbed the Duel in the D, as it took place in Detroit, just a stone’s throw away from the campuses of both teams.
The game was a classic, with Michigan State scoring two goals in the third period to tie the game and force overtime. After a scoreless overtime, the game was decided in a shootout, where Michigan State ultimately came out on top, advancing to the National Championship game. This game not only added to the history of this rivalry but also solidified Michigan State’s dominance over their in-state rivals.
The Big Ten Era: Renewing the Rivalry
In 2011, with the creation of the Big Ten Hockey Conference, Michigan State and their rivals were joined together in the same conference for the first time since the 1980s. The rivalry was renewed, and the intensity and significance of their matchups only grew. Games between these two teams became crucial in determining conference standings and playoff positioning, adding yet another layer of importance to this classic rivalry.
In recent years, Michigan State has continued to dominate their rivals, winning multiple Big Ten regular-season titles and showing that they are still the top dog in this rivalry. However, their in-state neighbors continue to strive for success and show that they are still a force to be reckoned with. With the creation of a new conference, the rivalry between Michigan State and their in-state rivals has been reignited and continues to produce some of the most exciting and important matchups in college hockey.
The rivalry between Michigan State and their in-state neighbors is one that has stood the test of time and continues to produce epic matchups with each passing year. From their early days at the club level to their current status as conference rivals, the intensity and significance of this rivalry have only grown. As a fan of the sport, it is impossible not to be drawn in by the history and passion behind this classic rivalry.