Season 4, Episode 13 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; Happy Holidays. This week, Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were guestless. In this episode they discussed Michigan Tech’s series against Lake Superior State University, the state of the CCHA at the holiday break, Grand Rapids, Mich. and the upcoming Great Lake Invitational (GLI) Tournament.
Lake Superior State University series recap
Tim was upset that he watched more of the Friday game than the Saturday game. Tim talked about head coach Joe Shawhan’s comments after the series in which Joe said that Tech fell back into some old habits from before their break. Matt was frustrated with the Friday game too, and the guys talked about Tech taking a lot of shots into the center of the LSSU goalie.
Both Tim and Matt commented that it was nice to see Tech bounce back and have a good game on Friday though Matt did say he was confused on how to feel about the weekend as a whole. The guys talked about some of the games this season that Tech may regret losing when it comes time for the National Tournament selection. The guys also talked about the abysmal attendance at the Taffy Abel Arena this past weekend and how that may have played into the flow of the game.
CCHA at the break
All of the guys agreed that the conference has not been great through the first half of the season, especially when it comes to the non-conference records. The guys discussed some of the conference’s woes as a result of playing many games against the NCHC and Big 10 conferences. They brought up the idea of the CCHA conference subsidizing the lower teams to go play lower teams in Atlantic Hockey to help the interconference record. Tim thought within the CCHA conference, it’s been a fun year due to how unpredictable the games have been. The guys talked about a couple possible scenarios which would allow the CCHA to get more than one team into the National Tournament, part of which involves Tech winning their next four games.
The guys also talked about why the CCHA’s non-conference isn’t great. Tim brought up the point that the CCHA teams are built to be strong at the end of the season, which usually does not bode well for the early season non-conference games. Matt thought it would be interesting to have more non-conference games played in January when the CCHA teams are winding up. The guys discussed Tech pulling their weight in the non-conference schedule, which includes a quarter of the CCHA’s conference wins.
Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) preview
Rob will be attending his first ever GLI! He’ll be going with Tim, Tim’s daughter and Matt who will be in attendance too. Matt was not happy with the way tickets were sold and will be giving the box office at Van Andel Arena a piece of his mind. The guys talked about how refreshing it is for all of the schools involved, the arena and the city to be excited for the tournament. There was some discussion about how the overtime would work at the GLI if the championship game gets to that point.
After a brief interlude about Matt’s Grand Rapids recommendations, the guys got into their predictions for the tournament. Tim thought that if Tech wins their first game then they’ll win the title. He hoped that Tech learned their lesson this past weekend against LSSU and how to handle coming off a longer break. Matt agreed with Tim and predicted the same. Matt didn’t think Ferris State would match up well against Michigan State and the guys discussed how Michigan State has been doing so far in the Big 10.
Grand Rapids travel guide
Matt spent a couple minutes talking about his upcoming Grand Rapids travel guide. His guide includes a coffee shop owned by a 2016 Tech graduate, a couple of restaurants and brewery suggestions, some bar suggestions and ways to kill a few hours around town. Tim and Rob discussed some of their plans for attending and asked Matt for some more details on things to do, including recommendations for places which focus heavily on root beer.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 23 minutes long. Tim shared his screen showing the shot chart from Friday’s game against LSSU and the guys discussed how cool InStat is. The guys discussed interconference records and the NCAA points record for hockey hockey. There was a discussion on how many GLI wins for Tech the guys have been alive to possibly see. The guys discussed the NCAA Tournament locations and the NCHC having a down year. Tim discussed his master plan for watching both of the GLI games with his daughter. The guys discussed the upcoming Lake Superior State versus Wisconsin game and the ferry options across Lake Michigan. There was extended discussion on things to do in Grand Rapids.
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