HONORS AND AWARDS
1998-99: Great Lakes Invitational MVP
Great Lakes Invitational All-Tournament Team
Academic All-Big Ten
MASON ON GRESL: “Mike really was a great story last year. The performance he gave us in those games around New Year’s proved that he is a very good goaltender. We know we can count on him.”
SCOUTING REPORT: Catches left. He brings good size and strength to the goaltending position, and gained valuable experience in pressure situations last season.
DID YOU KNOW? Mike Gresl led MSU to the 1998 Great Lakes Invitational title in his third and fourth career starts.
1998-99: Truly enjoyed a storybook season as a junior, posting an 8-1-0 record, a 1.22 goals-against average and a .940 save percentage in nine appearances (all starts). Stepped in as the team’s No. 1 goaltender while Joe Blackburn was playing for Team USA at the World Junior Championship, making six consecutive starts and winning them all. First start was a shutout, a 2-0, nine-save affair against Nebraska-Omaha (Dec. 4). Led the team to its second consecutive Great Lakes Invitational title with a career-high 26 saves in the come-from-behind win over Northern Michigan in the semifinals (Dec. 26) and stopped 24 shots, including all 12 in the second period, against Michigan in the title game (Dec. 27). Allowed only one goal in the 3-1 win vs. the Wolverines, holding them scoreless for the first 48:52 while MSU built a 3-0 lead. Played every minute of a three-game, three-day sweep at Alaska Fairbanks (4-1, 3-1 and 5-0, Jan. 1, 2 and 3). Those three wins put MSU in first place in the CCHA to stay. Made 19 saves in his second shutout of the year (and his career) at UAF. Appeared briefly as the NCAA leader in every goaltending category following his stint as the starter, but did not have enough minutes to qualify the rest of the year. His eight-game winning streak was finally snapped March 6, the final game of the regular season, against Ferris State (2-1).
1997-98: Appeared in two games in relief for the Spartans, against Notre Dame (Nov. 1) and Alaska Fairbanks (Jan. 16). Relieved Chad Alban against Notre Dame and made three saves while allowing two goals. Replaced Joe Blackburn against the Nanooks and stopped all four shots he faced in 9:06 of time.
1996-97: Had planned to redshirt, but when Michigan State’s top two goaltenders earned game disqualifications for fighting Jan. 31, he was thrust into a starring role. Coach Mason, willing to start a club team goalie, gave Gresl the decision whether or not to play, and on Tuesday he decided he would play the Friday contest against Western Michigan (Feb. 7). The story made national news, appearing in USA Today the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. Gresl played well in the 5-2 loss, posting 24 saves, several of the spectacular variety. He made 12 stops in the second period, keeping the undermanned Spartans, who were without five regulars, in the game. He made one additional appearance in MSU’s 8-3 loss at Ohio State, stopping the only shot he faced in 8:30 of playing time.
PRIOR TO MSU: Came to Michigan State after a two-year stint with the Green Bay Gamblers of the USHL. Finished at Green Bay with the third-best single-season GAA in league history (2.69 in 1995-96). Owned a 19-4-0 record while leading the USHL with a .930 save percentage. He led the Gamblers to the championship at the 1996 USA Hockey National Junior ‘A’ Tournament, posting a 2.50 GAA and .920 save percentage in two games. Joined the junior ranks after a brilliant high school career in which he was named all-conference, all-state, all-tournament and team MVP. Each of his three years he had a GAA of less than 1.80 and a save percentage over .925. Also played football at Stevens Point Area Senior High, earning letters as a safety and a placekicker.
PERSONAL: Born Nov. 26, 1975. A general business administration major. Was on the high honor roll in high school. Enjoys golf, fishing and waterskiing. A fan of the Chicago Blackhawks and New York Rangers’ goaltender Mike Richter. Son of Wayne and Dianne Gresl.
YEAR GP MIN GA GAA SV SV% W-L-T 1996-97 2 68:30 5 4.38 25 .833 0-1-0 1997-98 2 14:15 2 8.42 7 .778 0-0-0 1998-99 9 539:03 11 1.22 171 .940 8-1-0 TOTALS 13 621:48 18 1.74 203 .919 8-2-0
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