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GLI 2012: Western Michigan beats Michigan State in shootout

Western Michigan scored a win over Michigan State on Saturday at the Great Lakes Invitational, relying on a shootout for the victory.

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

The Western Michigan Broncos saw a lead evaporate with just 16 seconds on the clock in regulation against the Michigan State Spartans at the Great Lakes Invitational on Saturday, but managed to climb ahead and seal the victory (officially a tie) in the shootout.

Mike Leone was the only player to score in the shootout, sealing the 2-1 victory for the Broncos. Rather, he sealed what is officially a 1-1 tie due to the NCAA not officially utilizing a shutout, but for all intents and purposes, it's a victory.

Western Michigan got the scoring started in the first period, when Mike Cichy was assisted by Chase Bailey and Jordan Oesterle at 10:21 in the frame. From there, it was all defense for the Broncos. It looked as though they had it in the bag, as the Spartans took to the desperation of going with an empty net in the final minute or so.

But the empty net paid off this time, as Matt Berry found the back of the Broncos' net, assisted by Lee Reimer and Jake Chelios at 19:44 of the third period. That's with just 16 seconds left in regulation, so it forced an overtime period.

The five-minute overtime period was scoreless, and the game was sent to a shootout, where the aforementioned Leone scored the only goal of the day.

Western Michigan goalie Frank Slubowski made 21 saves, while Jake Hildebrand made 31 of his own. In the five-minute overtime period, the Spartans attempted only one shot on goal, while the Broncos attempted five.

Western Michigan will take on the winner of Michigan vs. Michigan Tech, which will also be decided on Saturday night.