Season 3 Episode 2 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; “Earning Your Stipes.” This week Tim Braun, Matt Cavender, Rob Gilreath, and Dustin Lindstrom were joined by the Director of CCHA Officials Kevin Langseth. Dustin was running late to recording, so Tim, Matt and Rob discussed Kevin’s hiring, finding officials from scratch, and what fans can expect to see that’s different from previous seasons. Once Dustin joined topics of discussion included fantasy college hockey, recent Michigan Tech recruits, and a review of the Tech portion of the CCHA Media Day.

Kevin background and hiring (2:15)

Kevin is originally from the Calumet and grew up playing games at Tech as a kid and through High School. He feels that the UP schools like having the Yooper representation in the administration of the new league. When asked about why he was picked to be the Director of Officials, Kevin thought he had a number of items in his favor. These included his passion for the game, his 25 years of experience as a NCAA D1 referee and linesman, knowing all 8 coaches, and his 13-year stint as a part of the training staff at the USA hockey program in Michigan.

Officials and League Changes (5:55)

The initial conversation focuses on the process of hiring officials for a new league. Kevin received applications from officials in a number of leagues, across a large geographic area. The large area made it difficult for him to evaluate all of the applicants in person, so he spent a lot of time watching video of the officials on various TV networks and streaming services. The roster of officials should be published on the CCHA website soon.

Kevin then dives into some of the changes that fans can expect to see this upcoming season. Changes fans will notice during the game include having all referees wearing microphones, an improved video review system that is supposed to be close to NHL capabilities, and ensuring that game tempo is maintained during line changes and other non-media related pauses in the action. Other changes will be more behind the scenes such as improving communication between the league and the coaches. Kevin stresses the importance of rule enforcement and improving the standard of enforcement, not only within the CCHA, but across the NCAA as a whole. The CCHA has a ref sharing agreement with the BIG and NCHC which Kevin is hoping will help to make the standard of enforcement more consistent across the leagues.

Kevin wraps up the discussion about the new officials by talking about how they will be scheduled each week, how much travel may be involved for the officials, talking about how the image of the officials is maintained as the season goes on, and how the decision for a possible suspension following a major penalty called during a game will be handled.             

Dustin reads a review (44:24)

There is a new feature that the podcast is implementing. Any 5-star review that is written will be read on air.

Fantasy College Hockey (46:50)

Another new segment that will be happening is a fantasy college hockey segment, though not in a “traditional” fantasy sports way. Each week will be a new theme with 5 players that the hosts can draft, with the remaining player going to a ghost. The goal is to beat the ghost each week and at the season’s end. This week’s theme is “the top returning scorer from nationally ranked teams”. The pool of players to draft this week hailed from Minnesota State, UMass, Minnesota, LSSU, and Nebraska Omaha.

New Recruits (54:23)

There are 3 new recruits to the Tech hockey program since the hosts last discussed recruiting over the summer. One recruit is a family name to the Tech program. Two of these recruits are from Canada, which Tim thinks is a good sign for the program. Matt hopes that these Canadians will see the success of some past western Canadian players in Tech’s history.

CCHA Media day (61:35)

Coach Joe Shawhan spent much of the CCHA Media Day talking up a number of players on Tech’s roster, including one that surprised Tim a little. The hosts discuss the logjam at the defensive position and how they expect newcomer Michael Karow to play a sizeable role. The upcoming exhibition game against Northern Michigan is brought into the discussion and Dustin doesn’t expect to see big minutes from the guys that are locks for the roster, and is hoping that the others are given a chance to show what they can do.

Cut for time (20 minutes this week)

This week’s cut content for patrons is approximately 20 minutes long. After Tim gets his soccer fix out of the way, much of the time is extended discussions on the topics in the main podcast. Kevin goes more in-depth on how the refs were hired, there is a more complete explanation of how the fantasy college hockey came to be, further conversation about the new recruits, and ending with talking about Augustana adding D1 hockey and how it might affect the college hockey landscape.

Learn More

For additional information and more episode liner notes, check out our episode overview on Tech Hockey Guide. To make sure we can afford all our fancy equipment we purchased for the podcast and the THG website in general, please check out our patreon page and consider joining. Patrons at our Black Level or above receive an authentic MTU jersey patch and access to extra podcast content including extended versions of our other episodes. This week’s extended version is about 93 minutes including a discussion of Augustana joining D1 hockey.

Follow us on twitter at ChasingMacPod and you can submit questions through our email address, ChasingMac@techhockeyguide.com. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast wherever you get your podcasts. Please rate and review which will help us reach more people, and tell your friends. Please check out Jonathan Zamaites series previews every Friday and Mike Anleitner’s Old Dog in Texas column every Wednesday (you should definitely read this week’s column). Also, keep an eye out for new recruiting articles on Tuesdays. As always, special thanks to our patron saint Doc McResin for his generous donation to get this thing running, we hope you enjoy. Also, thanks to The Thank You Notes for all the bumpers in today’s episode. If you like what you hear, check them out at  thethankyounotes.bandcamp.com

Note: these liner notes were written by our newest addition, Nick Holmes. Thanks for stepping up and helping out Nick!