Season 3 Episode 21 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; Michigan Tech Complex. This week, Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were guestless. In this episode they reviewed the first Northern Michigan game and St. Thomas series, discussed Tech’s Rating Percentage Index (RPI) and Pairwise Ranking (PWR). talked about eastern hockey and speculated on the seeding for the upcoming NCAA tournament, previewed the upcoming second game against Northern (which will have happened by the time these liner notes are published), talked about the new Tech hockey jersey design, and brought back Fantasy Challenge.
Tim started off by sharing the latest updates on the Patrons which included a number of new supporters of the podcast, as well as mentioning a couple of donations towards the THG purchase of InStat. Tim also talked about new features coming soon for Patrons of the podcast including early access to deep dive InStat articles. These articles will be posted to Patron for supporters a week before the general public has access to them. If you are looking for more discussion on Tech Hockey, including recruiting and gameday threads, please join the THG Discord Server!
Northern Michigan split series Game 1 review
The guys then kicked the rest of the podcast by reviewing the first game of the Northern Michigan split series. Tim thought that the game was never really uncomfortable to Tech and was a fairly easy win. Matt added that this game was what he had hoped the rest of the weekend against St. Thomas would be and that he couldn’t poke any holes in how Tech played. The guys then discussed the ever-worsening goalie situation for Northern Michigan.
St. Thomas series review
Tim talked about being at both games, and shared how much his daughter enjoyed giving high fives to the Tech players.
The guys then talked about how frustrating the game on Friday was. Dustin called the performance embarrassing and Matt and Rob agreed with him. Dustin added that this game caused a huge swing in Tech’s RPI. Matt discussed his thoughts about fatigue being a factor for Tech, but also added that these games were the Tommies best games all season. Tim speculated that if fatigue becomes a factor, it will show up during Tech’s upcoming games against Bowling Green.
The guys then spent a little time talking about the PWR situation for Tech. Dustin did some digging on the numbers and put together a graphic representation showing Tech’s current (as of 2/8) RPI position and how it relates to historical PWR rankings. The guys then talked about the lack of PWR change for Tech after the Tommies games and how everyone’s RPI goes down at the end of the year due to only one team winning each conference tournament.
Tim then talked about going through the PWR simulator and which loss against the upcoming opponents hurt Tech the most. Tim also told a story about his perspective watching the only shot on goal from UST in the entire second period of Saturday’s game. Thankfully Tech goaltender Blake Pietila made the save preserving the shutout and the lead.
Northern Michigan split series Game 2 preview
Rob started off by commenting on how wonderful the last two weeks of hockey have been and Matt added that he loves being able to start watching hockey at 8am. The guys then talked about the lineup situation for Tech and Dustin asked Tim what he would do if he was in coach Joe Shawhan’s shoes. Tim thought he’d play some guys that haven’t played in a while and Dustin thought that Joe needed to take advantage of Tech’s depth. Tim thought that Joe needed to roll four lines and couldn’t sacrifice the chance to win. The guys then spent some time talking about the playing time of Tech’s defenseman from the last five games (shown in the chart below) and how they can conserve energy by playing a smart game.
The guys made sure to spend some time talking about the new jersey’s that Michigan Tech unveiled during last week’s game against Northern. The response among the four was universal dislike, if not complete hatred, and Dustin gave them an F. The guys then talked about what could have been improved with the jerseys, including use of some of the tertiary logos shown in the pyramid below. They also complained at the fact that the University feels that every item must include the words “Michigan Tech” on it. THG’s Ryan Johnson (Johnson’s Jerseys) also reviewed the jerseys and you can read his review here.
Tech’s next three games
The guys wrapped up by giving their predictions for Tech’s next three games. Rob predicted a win against Northern and a split against Bowling Green. Matt predicted a win in all three games though did add that Bowling Green scared him. Dustin also predicted three wins. Tim was on board with Matt and Dustin and also predicted a Tech sweep and predicted that the Winter Carnival games will be close against Bowling Green.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 33 minutes long. Tim and Dustin talked about Adam Carlson, a goalie who played for Edina Junior Gold and Minnesota high school hockey tiers. Rob talked about the latest USCHO podcast he listened to and that their NCAA tournament predictions. The guys talked at length about how bad eastern hockey has been this year and Tim also talked about his latest bracketology and where teams would be placed for the NCAA tournament. There was a conversation about the +/- stats of the top lines for Tech over the last couple of weeks. Tim talked about how he jinxed this past weekend’s series and the major penalties for Tech that occurred. Matt and Tim continued their beef over the overtime and shootout format and there was a discussion about the expected goals for the weekend series against St. Thomas. Fantasy Challenge was brought back this week. The guys talked about the 18th anniversary of Mitch’s Misfits and some of the talent past Tech teams have played against.
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 105 minutes.
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Follow us on twitter at ChasingMacPod. You can submit questions through our email address, ChasingMac@techhockeyguide.com. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. Please rate and review to 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