Season 3 Episode 14 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; Troll Holiday Classic. This week, Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were joined by Michigan Tech’s Athletic Director, Dr. Suzanne Sanregret. This week was the first part of a double episode the guys recorded and the focus of the discussion was around the 2021 edition of the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI). In the first part of this episode the guys discussed the GLI with Suzanne and in the second part of the episode the guys discussed the GLI among themselves.
GLI discussion with Suzanne
Tim started off the GLI conversation by asking Suzanne why the GLI is not its usual tournament format this year. She discussed how it was mainly a result of Little Caesar’s Arena (LCA) still feeling the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Suzanne also talked about Michigan Tech, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University all being partners in the process and that the showcase format they chose was the best option available without fully cancelling the GLI. Suzanne made sure to point out some positives of the showcase format which included a good pairwise result if Tech is able to beat Michigan and Michigan State in their arenas. Suzanne also discussed some of the ongoing discussions for the future GLI tournaments and assured that all three schools are committed to keeping it going.
Tim then asked if Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids was ever considered, which Suzanne said it was. However, due to the late notice of needing the location and other COVID-19 concerns it did not work out. Suzanne then talked about Tech’s wonderful fans who always attend the GLI and pointed out some of the financial concerns that LCA have when running a triple header of the two GLI games followed by a Red Wings game. Dustin and Matt joked about the fact that LCA may now actually be available if the NHL decides to postpone games through the New Year.
Tim continued the hard hitting questions and asked why, as a host team, Tech is not allowed to have their pep band at the games. Suzanne talked how it is a Big 10 rule, and both those schools discussed the issue and decided they’d rather not have Tech’s band in attendance. Suzanne did point out that Blizzard will be in attendance at both games. Tim said that he wants to embarrass both schools on the ice and Rob talked about Tech’s fans being loud and the good that will come from that. Matt expressed his frustration at the whole situation and thought that the same thing would not happen at the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena.
Suzanne then talked about how this will be the first GLI she has missed in roughly 27 years, but noted that she will be watching and cheering from afar. Rob talked about having never been to the GLI, and Matt provided the opposite perspective and talked about attendance at the GLI being more important than Christmas and New Years in his family. The guys and Suzanne then talked about alumni gatherings prior to the games. For those who are able to attend the games, there are alumni gatherings happening before each game. The pre-game before the Michigan game will be at Regents Field in Ann Arbor and the pre-game before the Michigan State game will be at Hop Cat in East Lansing. For those who are unable to attend, the games will be broadcast on BIG+.
GLI discussion without Suzanne
After Suzanne left, the guys had their own discussion on the GLI. Dustin thought that Suzanne was very diplomatic about the situation, but was adement that this isn’t the GLI and it shouldn’t be called as such. Rob brought up pairwise again and both Dustin and Tim said that Tech has to win these games. Ultimately, Tim was disappointed that it’s not a real tournament this year but is still happy that it’s happening. He was also excited that Tech should be playing at full strength against a Michigan team who will be missing seven or eight players to the World Juniors Tournament.
The guys then discussed their predictions for the GLI. Matt thought that Tech would beat Michigan in OT and beat MSU in regulation. Tim, Dustin and Rob all picked a Tech sweep in regulation. Tim mused that this won’t be the most intimidating time to play these teams on the road and Rob thought that we’ll see grumpy Tech fans who will be loud and salty because the pep band cannot attend. Rob also talked about how he hoped the series with against St. Thomas give the Tech players a perspective on how important the GLI games are. Rob ended his thoughts by saying that we will learn a lot about Tech over these two games and whether they can pull off a sweep or not. The guys then again discussed the pairwise implications of the weekend.
Tech Hockey Guide update
The guys spent a couple minutes talking about their past and recent attempts to add editors to the THG staff. Tim and Matt also talked about the relief they’ve had in having less THG responsibilities on their plates. Tim discussed needing to get back to writing recruiting articles and mentioned some of the articles he has in the pipeline.
There was no Fantasy Challenge segment this week due to the uncertainty of whether games will actually be played or not with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 12 minutes long. The guys discussed the video review systems in football and soccer. There were several short segments about the Monday night football game that was being played at the time of recording. The guys discussed Rob visiting St. Thomas and why Matt isn’t planning on attending but has friends who are in order to out cheer the St. Thomas fans. Matt talked about the first time he met Tim and shared his hockey viewing plans for the holiday weekend. The guys discussed 1919 root beer and whether it can or cannot be canned. The guys talked about getting the vaccine booster and Tim’s difficulty in finding somewhere to get it.
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