Season 4 Episode 19 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; We Have Zameats. This week, Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were joined by Michigan Tech Hockey assistant coach Jordy Murray. In this episode they discussed how Jordy arrived at Tech, his recruiting responsibilities, listener questions, Tech’s series last weekend against Northern Michigan, Tech’s upcoming series against Bemidji State, the Joe Shawhan Hour and how the CCHA is shaping up towards the end of the season.
There were a good number of listener questions that were submitted this week. The first question asked what role Name, Image, Likeness (NIL) played in Michigan Tech hockey. Jordy talked about educating the players on NIL deals, but pointed out that the team cannot find the deals for the players.
The second question asked Jordy if his expectations of the job have changed since he was hired. Jordy said they haven’t changed a ton and talked about knowing he’d be on the road a lot for recruiting purposes. He also talked about his roles with the team including working on faceoffs and a power play unit.
Another question asked how Jordy’s relationship to the team was, and if Jordy thought there were any unrecognized leaders on the team. Jordy emphasized the point that Tech is a “team by committee” and that there is no one guy who is the vocal or emotional leader of the team. Jordy also talked about this Tech team being one of the closest teams he’s been around.
THG’s own JZ asked Jordy if using an earpiece on the bench was Jordy’s idea. Jordy talked about wearing it last season at Notre Dame and how useful using the piece can be. He talked about being able to communicate with the booth for reviews, tagging certain plays, and more. Rob and Tim discussed their experience watching the stat keepers do their thing in Denver last season.
One listener question turned away from hockey and asked Jordy how he was liking the Copper Country so far and what his favorite activities were to do. Jordy talked about not being a city person which made the transition to Houghton easy. He talked about playing a lot of golf in his free time.
Rob asked Jordy about his experience travelling to Houghton as a player. Jordy talked about Tech always playing hard despite usually being at the bottom of the WCHA, but also said he only remembers travelling there once during his playing career. The guys then discussed how far Wisconsin has fallen as a hockey program in recent years.
Jordy’s path to Michigan Tech
Rob asked Jordy how he ended up finding and arriving at Michigan Tech. Jordy talked about accepting another job with the Sioux Falls Power hockey team, then immediately finding out that the position at Tech opened up. He talked with Sioux Falls about taking the Tech job and they gave him their blessing and Jordy knew he wanted the job after talking with head coach Joe Shawhan about the position.
Jordy also talked about his knowledge of the Michigan Tech/Northern Michigan rivalry, and how it compared to the Wisconsin/Minnesota rivalry he played in as a player. He thought it was up there with the best rivalries in college sports, and he loved the banter between the fans. He also talked about Tech playing a complete weekend and how incredible the fan support was.
Michigan Tech special teams
The guys talked a bit about Tech’s abysmal power play. Jordy talked about the team’s struggles and went into detail about some of the preparation the team does going into each series. He talked about the team working on the power play every day at practice, and pointed out that they have been getting good chances but those chances haven’t lead to goals.
The guys transitioned to the other side of special teams and talked about Tech’s penalty kill, which has been much better than the power play. Jordy shared his thoughts on what has made the penalty kill so successful, which included face-off success and pressuring their opponents. This lead to a slight change in topic and Tim brought up some of Tech’s struggles at the end of games when opponents pull their goalie and have an extra attacker. Jordy thought some of the problems stemmed from the extra traffic and chaos in front of the net, and said there has been some bad puck luck involved too.
Dustin asked Jordy about his roles in recruiting and whether he covers specific regions or a little of everywhere. Jordy talked about himself and Tyler Shelast having different regions where they’re both better connected. He also talked about Tech leaning into their European connections and the untapped market over there. Jordy discussed how some of the European players want to come to the US and play in the USHL or college before becoming pro in their respective leagues.
Tim asked Jordy about a couple new recruits that Tech was supposed to be getting. Jordy mentioned one that Tech lost to a BIG school, and another that they recently got the verbal commitment from.
Bemidji State series preview
Tim will be going to both games and Dustin will be going to the Saturday game, and they were both excited to be going. Jordy thought that it will be a good series and talked about watching game film from Bemidji’s last couple series against Northern Michigan and Lake Superior State. Jordy talked about Tech being a different team now than when they played Bemidji State at home previously and thinks Tech is in a good spot now. Tim talked about the weekend being huge for Tech with regards to their Pairwise position and season comparison to Bemidji State.
Northern Michigan series recap
All of the guys were happy with how the series against Northern Michigan went down. Tim expressed some mild surprise that Blake didn’t steal the game which Tech shut out Northern. The guys discussed the Friday game being tense until Tech’s second goal was scored and Matt talked about never being comfortable during the Northern Michigan series until the final buzzer sounds.
The Joe Show
Rob and Tim were both able to listen to the Joe Show this week. They discussed their thoughts on how much Joe has learned as a head coach at Tech. Tim thought that Joe hasn’t forced his style on the players as much this season and said that’s a great sign Joe’s growing as a coach. Rob also talked about Joe maturing as a head coach and said this season has been an incredibly pleasant surprise. Dustin chimed in and said that Jordy should get credit too and thought that Jordy has been a rock star hire for Tech so far. Tim made sure to give Jamie Phillips and Tyler Shelast kudos too.
CCHA shaping up
Towards the end of the show the guys looked at how the CCHA is shaping up heading into the final weeks of the season. Dustin thought that the league has a legitimate chance at getting two teams into the NCAA tournament, and Tim repeated his thought from previous episodes that he hopes someone else besides Minnesota State can win the MacNaughton Cup.
The guys transitioned into talking about Tech playing in the national tournament and how it relates to recruiting and the expectations of the team. Tim talked about how repeatedly getting to the tournament can make the players feel like they belong there and help to get them in a good mindset. Matt talked about tournament berths being a huge confidence boost and Dustin talked about getting over the hump and becoming a team that regularly makes the tournament.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 16 minutes long. Rob talked about seeing a hockey game in Switzerland (and their fans seating arrangement) when he was visiting Europe recently and Jordy talked about his favorite rivalry he’s been a part of. There was a discussion about whether the coaches and players talk about Pairwise during the season. The guys briefly discussed how Northeastern is performing this year. Dustin shared a story from his snowmobiling adventures this past weekend. The guys went on a tangent about a recent tweet from Jess Meyers.
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