Season 4 Episode 15 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; GLI Live. This week, Tim Braun, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender recorded live from the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) Tournament in Grand Rapids, Mich. For most of the episode they were joined by Michigan Tech defenseman Brett Thorne. Michigan Tech’s Sports and Information Director (SID) Calvin Larson also joined the guys briefly towards the end of the episode. In this episode they discussed Tech’s game against Michigan State, Thorne playing for the Carlton Place Canadians, playing for head coach Joe Shawhan and various assistant coaches, and takeaways from playing in the GLI.
Author’s note: Due to the nature in which this episode was recorded (live during the Ferris State vs. Western Michigan game), there were a number of breaks in the conversation for reaction to the play on ice. The guys also jumped around topics a little so I have grouped the conversation based on topic types below, rather than chronological order like I usually do.
Tim asked Brett about the refereeing towards the end of Tech’s game against Michigan State. Brett thought that the refs put away their whistles for most of the game and that penalties were committed on both sides that should have been called. Matt agreed with Brett and said that there were a number of calls he thought should have been made.
Brett talked about what was going through his head going into the last power play at the end of regulation, which was summed up as “we better score.” He talked about Tech’s power play struggling all year but coming up big in this situation. The guys discussed the terrible line change from Michigan State which lead to the game winning overtime goal for Tech.
The guys all agreed to keep the talk about Tech’s game against Western Michigan to a minimum, but Matt did ask Brett how a team mentally overcomes a game like that to get ready for the next game. Brett said the team talked about it immediately after the game and did watch some video the next morning. Otherwise, Brett talked about throwing a game like that in the rearview mirror and moving on. Brett also talked about this year’s team and their struggles coming off of long breaks.
Rob asked Brett for his perspective on overtime and whether it should be 5v5 or 3v3. Brett split the guys’ usual opinions and said that 3v3 is fun for regular season games, but that important game such as playoffs should be 5v5.
The guys talked about the fan support for the team, especially for games far away from Houghton, MI such as the GLI. Brett talked about it being an unreal experience and that many of Tech’s road games feel like home games due to the number of Husky fans present. The guys reminisced about some of their favorite road trips to watch Tech play.
Brett talked about playing in a tournament like the GLI and the good experience it brings to the team. He discussed the benefit of playing teams from different conferences as well as the benefit of playing in the playoff like atmosphere. The guys then discussed some of the Pairwise benefits of the GLI, and Brett admitted that he didn’t understand how Pairwise worked. Overall, Brett thought the GLI was fun and said that the team learned a lot about themselves after playing both games.
Once Brett left, the guys gave their thoughts on Tech’s game against Western. Matt commented that his biggest frustration about the game was the sameness of the Western goals. Tim talked about the need for goaltender Blake Pietila to make an incredible save to spark up the team, though Tim was quick to say that he was not blaming Blake at all for the blowout loss. The guys discussed the fans still being engaged at the end of the Western game, despite the score. The guys talked about the positive results that Tech has had at the GLI the last several years. 2011 was the last time Tech finished fourth, and 2014 was the last time that Tech played in the third place game.
Carlton Place Canadians
Tim asked Brett about his experience playing for the Carlton Place Canadians in the Central Canada Hockey League. Brett talked about playing under his former head coach Jason Clarke and Clarke’s ability to get the best out of his players. The guys talked about how few Carlton Place alumni come out to play hockey for the western teams. The guys also talked about the many places that Michigan Tech has gotten recruits from the last couple years, and Brett said there is a fun atmosphere created in the locker room due to the different cultures and backgrounds represented.
Tim asked Brett to try and rank head coach Joe Shawhan among all the other coaches Brett’s played for. Brett said that Joe does a very good job at pushing players to get their best and is also very good with coaching systems. Brett added that Joe has a lot of overall wisdom as well. The conversation pivoted slightly, and the guys brought up InStat and how much information it offers and how Joe uses that information to help the team.
Tim asked Brett about playing for a number of different assistant coaches at Tech. Brett talked about the dynamic between the team and the coaches and said Joe is always there to get the best out of the players. He also talked about Tyler Shelast and Jordy Murray and their roles with on ice drills and video review. Matt brought up Jamie Phillips coaching the goalies and Brett said Jamie doesn’t really do much with coaching the rest of the team.
Cal joins the show
Michigan Tech SID Calvin Larson joined the guys for a couple minutes towards the end of the episode. He talked about the team finding a way to come back at the end of the game against Michigan State and talked about his son celebrating Arvid Caderoth’s overtime goal. Cal talked about the love and support that the fans provide to the team and said he gets emotional every time the team comes out in an arena like Van Andel due to the crowd support.
The guys talked about jerseys with Cal, who provided some insight into why the black jerseys were changed. Cal also talked about some of the thought process behind why a jersey needs to be changed sometimes. All of the guys agreed that the 100 year throwback jersey was a knockout success.
Cut for time
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