Season 3 Episode 25 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; Capital City of Evil. This week, Tim Braun, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were joined by Dave Ellis, the occasional color commentator for Michigan Tech Hockey. Dustin Lindstrom did join the guys from Las Vegas for a while later into the show. In this episode they discussed the Mason Cup, Dave’s opinion on the CCHA, listener questions, a recap of the Michigan Tech/Ferris State series, camera angles for broadcasts, predictions for the upcoming weekend, Pairwise and the BIG, and the Joe Show.

The Mason Cup

Dave talked about how great it is to have the Mason Cup brought back. He talked about the history it has to the formative years of the old CCHA and told a story about the time he found out there are multiple copies of the Cup. Tim asked Dave to talk about the importance of the Cup to the smaller schools, which Dave tied back to Ron Mason being a good friend of John MacInnes. Mason took MacInnes’s “small school mentality” and was always willing to schedule the smaller schools as a coach of a larger school. Dave said that Mason was very proud to have his name on the trophy and talked about the first time that Michigan State won the Mason Cup and Mason himself got to lift it.

Dave then talked about his adventures digging for old archival footage of Ron Mason playing hockey. Dave also talked about working with TV6 in the Upper Peninsula and Michigan Tech’s archival team, which has footage going back to 1980. Dave said that he and Calvin Larson were able to find footage going back to 1956 from another source, which can be seen in Tech’s 100 years of hockey video played before every home game.

Dave’s thoughts on CCHA changes

As he does with every guest, Tim asked Dave for his thoughts on the biggest and most important changes to the new CCHA league versus the old WCHA league. Dave thought that the social media coverage has been helpful, especially the highlight packages put together by Dominic Hennig. Dave also talked about the quicker response to refereeing questions with Kevin Langseth in charge. The guys then spent a couple minutes discussing the rule and penalty for putting your hand on the puck in the crease and faceoff circle.

Then, there was a conversation about the ending of the Minnesota State/St. Thomas series. Most of the conversation revolved around St. Thomas coach Rico Blasi and his reaction to the non-call during the game on Saturday. Tim said that he understood why Rico was upset, but also said that the refs don’t deserve what they were given because they are human and everyone makes mistakes.

Listener question

There was a listener question this week which asked Dave what other coaches, besides Mason and MacInnes, that he would give credit to growing the game of hockey most at CCHA schools and their communities. Dave’s first answer was Rick Comley who took over at Lake Superior State after Ron Mason left. The other coaches that Dave mentioned were Buddy Powers during his time at Bowling Green and Bill Wilkinson during his tenure at Western Michigan.

Weekend recap

Dave kicked off the recap by saying that he thought if Tech won easily on Friday that Ferris State would fold in the tent for Saturday. Dave then talked about watching the Saturday game and how he thought Tech took their foot off the gas too early. The guys all talked about the role players that have been stepping up for Tech, and how Tech’s roster depth helps them when games go to overtime. They also talked about Tech needing to dress an extra defenseman this weekend due to Tyrell Buckley not being available to play.

Tim asked a question about what Ferris State did to bottle up Brian Halonen so much. Dave said that they took his supply line, Trenton Bliss, away. Dave then discussed the need for some of Tech’s defenseman to jump up into the play, and the guys spent a couple minutes discussing Chris Lipe doing just that.

Dustin in Las Vegas

It was at this point in the podcast that Dustin made his appearance from Las Vegas. The first thing he did was make the case for Las Vegas as a future Frozen Four site. He then shared his experience at Caesars Palace and their college hockey futures available to bet on, which somehow did not include Michigan Tech, but did include teams such as Long Island University, St. Thomas, Alaska Fairbanks, Vermont and Sacred Heart.

CCHA broadcast quality

The guys spent some time discussing the good and the bad of the broadcast quality on FloHockey this season. Dave said that part of the problem is that Flo wants nothing to do with broadcasting the games, they just want a cut of the till when someone else does the broadcast. He also said that part of the picture quality during the Northern Michigan series was due to TV6 being a third party involved, and the technical difficulties that brought along. The better part of the broadcast quality conversation revolved around the camera angles used during the games. None of the guys were a fan of the reverse camera angle being used during play. Tim wanted the camera operators to be made aware of the scorebug position so that they can properly center the camera, and the guys talked about leaving the camera at one angle during gameplay. Rob talked about hating when the camera is zoomed in on one player while that player is bringing the puck up the ice.

Upcoming series predicitons

Dave provided a breakdown of the individual player scoring numbers for both Tech and Bemidji State, which lead him to the conclusion that Bemidji State is a one trick pony. The guys then talked about the goaltending situation at Bemidji State this year, and Dave had more stats on Tech’s overall goal production in their games against Bemidji State this season. Ultimately, Dave and Matt both felt this game is Tech’s to lose and Tim thought Tech would find a win and get rid of the 0.1% chance of not making the NCAA Tournament.

Dave thought that Northern Michigan has a great shot at beating Minnesota State. Tim commented on how Dryden McKay has looked shaky in goal for Minnesota State, and how the Mavericks kryptonite is the way Northern Michigan plays. Dave then drew a parallel to Minnesota State and the Death Star from Star Wars.

NCAA Tournament chances

Next up was the guys discussing the NCAA Tournament and the outlook for Tech moving forward. Dave said that he has Tech at 100% in, and Tim went through the crazy scenario(s) that would need to happen for Tech not to make it. The guys spent a good amount of time discussing the University of Michigan and how they will not win the national championship. They also talked a bit about the BIG tournament and the results of the Penn State/Ohio State series this past weekend.

The Joe Show

Rob pointed out that Joe was asked a question that commonly comes up in the THG Discord chat during games about why there’s never anyone in front of the net during the power play. Joe’s answer essentially boiled down to “we have the 2nd best power play in the nation, what more do you want?” Dave then talked about the false scouting report that teams will get from this past weekend on Blake Pietila because of the fluky goals he let in from behind the goal line.

The guys then talked more about some of the Discord topics that annoy them, which included Tim being irritated at people saying Tech always plays down to their opponent. He said that it’s irritating because a team can dominate the game and not score, which isn’t playing down to the opponent, the puck just isn’t going into the net. Dave discussed that teams like Ferris State and St. Thomas play they way they do because it’s the only way that they are able to stay in hockey games. Dave also reiterated the point that Matt has made regularly on the podcast: the best team doesn’t always win in hockey.

Miscellaneous ending stories

The ending of the podcast was a series of stories that won’t do well when pared down to only a couple of sentences on paper (or a computer screen in this case). Rob told a story about is parents listening to MacInnes winning his record setting game in 1980 on the Seney stretch. The guys talked about the Miracle on Ice movie and some of their gripes about how the game was portrayed. Dave told a very funny story about getting yelled at by USA coach Herb Brooks as an eight year old in the USA hockey locker room.

Cut for time

There is no cut content for Patrons this week. Tim lost his fight with a nail gun and was unable to edit the podcast this week. The rest of us at THG wish him a quick recovery and hope you all enjoy the full allotment of podcast content this week!

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 77 minutes.

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