Episode 10 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; “Hello Darkness.” This week Tim Braun, Rob Gilreath, Dustin Lindstrom and special guest Ryan Johnson from Johnson’s Jerseys discuss (times are approximate):

  • Bemidji State Review (2:40)
  • WCHA vs Top 6/Bottom 4 (9:16)
  • WCHA Top 6 analysis (14:57)
  • MTU Recruiting News (31:14)
  • Ferris State Preview (40:00)
  • WCHA Predicitons (46:24)
  • Questions (47:42)
  • Johnson’s Jerseys Discussion of non-MTU jerseys (53:51)

First up in this weeks liner notes is the highlights from the weekend’s series at BSU:

MTU @ BSU Friday January 17, 2020
MTU @ BSU Saturday January 18, 2020

To make sure we can afford all this fancy equipment we purchased for the podcast, please check out our patreon page and consider joining. Special thanks to our latest group of patrons; Patrick Koro, Mark Holmstrom, Gordy Smith, Zach aufdemberge, Lucas Wilder, Mark Miskerik and finally Dave Korpi for upgrading his patronage. Patrons at our Black Level or above receive an authentic MTU jersey patch and access to extra podcast content including the unpublished “Episode 0” and extended versions of our other episodes. This week’s extended version is almost 90 minutes long with a deeper discussion of NMU vs Cornell, Carson Bantle in the USHL prospects game, USCHO comments, additional questions about Hobey Baker, Pairwise/WCHA home ice.

WCHA Top 6 Analysis

We started by talking about the imbalanced schedules in the WCHA, here we’ll take it one step further and show remaining games in each grouping and project a final standings. Obviously this isn’t perfect because its assume every team will continue to win at the same percentage they’re currently at and it ignores the 6-point system used by the WCHA but before everyone gets too worried about home ice, the Huskies really should finish Top-4 based on their schedule being the most favorable down the stretch.

GP: Games Played, GR: Games Remaining, Win%: Winning percentage in that category

As you can see above, Michigan Tech has the most games remaining against the bottom 4 teams with 8 (tied with NMU) while they also have the least remaining against top 6 teams with 2. If they take care of business over the next 5 weeks, they should be in a position to host a playoff series. If not, we can reevaluate things in a week or two.

Dustin’s deep dive covered how the different classes within the top 6. I suppose I should break this out once in the article. The WCHA is stratified into 2 basic groups. Those fighting or nearly locked into home ice: Minnesota State, Bemidji State, Northern Michigan, Alaska, Bowling Green State, and Michigan Tech (top 6). Those fighting to participate in the WCHA playoffs: Lake Superior State, Alaska-Anchorage, Ferris State, and Alabama-Huntsville (bottom 4). Dustin’s efforts focused on the Top 6 only.

Top Ten Classes (points per player game played)

  1. Northern Michigan Sophomores (0.64)
  2. Minnesota State Seniors (0.63)
  3. Minnesota State Freshmen (0.62)
  4. Bemidji State Seniors (0.60)
  5. Alaska Juniors (0.58)
  6. Northern Michigan Seniors (0.57)
  7. Bowling Green Juniors (0.55)
  8. Minnesota State Juniors (0.50)
  9. Bemidji State Juniors (0.50)
  10. Bowling Green Seniors (0.49)

Cut for Time

This week’s extended version is almost 90 minutes with a bigger discussion of NMU vs Cornell and the quality of the ESPN+ broadcast, future Husky Carson Bantle in the USHL prospects game, comments from USCHO posters about the podcast, and two additional listener questions:

  1. Patron Mark Holmstrom asked, “How much do you guys feel a teams performance plays into selection (of the Hobey Baker Winner)?” We discussed the whole process for selecting the finalists and answers his question.
  2. Patron Marvin Wilson asked, “When is it time for the fanbase to stop worrying about the PWR and WCHA Home Ice?” We got some clarification on this and discussed both the fan and players/coaches side of this in detail.

If you want to hear what we had to say about the NMU vs Cornell or the answers to the above questions, become a patron by signing up at patreon.com/techhockeyguide. We’ll even send you an authentic MTU jersey patch after you’ve been a paying patron for two months!

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