Season 4 Episode 24 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; One Last FU. This week Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were joined by Tim Rappleye, who covers the CCHA for FloSports. In this episode they discussed this past weekends CCHA playoff games, the upcoming series between Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan, who has stood out on Michigan Tech’s roster this season, Finlandia University closing its doors and possible NCAA Tournament seeding scenarios.
CCHA playoffs first round review
Both Dustin and Braun thought that the weekend’s games went as expected, with the exception that none of the guys thought Ferris State would sweep Bowling Green. The guys discussed the major penalty call against Michigan Tech which took a goal off the board during the Friday game against St. Thomas. Rappleye thought that it was a clever challenge by the St. Thomas bench and Braun didn’t like that a goal was taken off the board when the hit didn’t affect the goal being scored. The guys thought that there might have been some make-up “no calls” against Tech to even out the major call.
The rivalry continues
As an neutral observer, Rappleye was delighted to see a Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan matchup in the playoffs. Rob was nervous for the upcoming series given how many goals Northern Michigan has scored lately and Braun thought Tech would be fine if they can stop Northern Michigan from scoring in bunches. Braun also talked about not expecting Tech to win anymore this year and enjoying the remainder of the season however it plays out. Rappleye discussed his thoughts on Northern Michigan improving towards the end of the season and Rob talked about Northern Michigan goalie Beni Halasz being fun to watch this season.
Towards the end of the show, the guys gave their predictions for the upcoming series against Northern Michigan. Braun thought Tech would win. Matt agreed and added that Ferris State would also win, setting up an All Dog Final in Houghton. Dustin also picked Tech to win and wanted a rematch against Minnesota State. Rappleye didn’t give a prediction on the Tech/Northern series, but commented that he was on board the Minnesota State bandwagon to reach the Frozen Four this year.
A fitting name
Rappleye brought up Michigan Tech forward Jack Works and talked about Works being a man on a mission this year. Rob said Works has been his favorite player to watch this year and Braun talked about understanding why Denver University recruited him. The guys discussed Works being a fire cracker, workhorse and instigator on the team and they took a couple minutes to discuss his goal from this past weekend against St. Thomas.
After talking about Works, the guys focused on another fan favorite on the Tech team: Jed Pietila. All of the guys commended Jed’s play this season and pointed out that head coach Joe Shawhan has made positive comments about Jed too. This lead to a conversation about Michigan Tech’s defensive corps and how they are not afraid to jump into the play when the puck is in the offensive zone. Braun pointed out that having Blake Pietila in the net is probably part of what makes the defensemen comfortable to jump into the play.
One last FU
With the recent news that Finlandia University will be closing its doors for good after the spring semester, the guys dedicated a few minutes of the podcast to discussing the impact of the University. All of the guys thought it was great that other Universities and Colleges in Michigan were stepping up and creating pathways for displaced Finlandia students to transfer. Braun hoped that Michigan Tech would absorb some of the programs that Finlandia had which Tech doesn’t. Dustin brought up enrollment numbers for the state of Michigan which highlighted that all of the schools besides Michigan Tech and the University of Michigan were suffering from declining enrollment. Rob and Matt brought up the cultural impact on the community that will be lost including many historical displays and presentations that Finlandia oversaw. The guys discussed some of the buildings that Finlandia owned and gave their guesses as to what will become of them.
Where do we go from here?
At the end of the show the guys discussed possible seeding scenarios for the upcoming NCAA Tournament, most of which revolved around what happens if the University of North Dakota and the University of Minnesota both end up at the Fargo regional. In the end, the guys came to the conclusion that the matchup cannot happen, much to everyone’s disappointment. After reaching that conclusion, the guys did spend a couple minutes discussing who they would want Tech to play in the NCAA Tournament. Dustin like the idea of playing Harvard followed by the winner of Quinnipiac or their opponent.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 24 minutes long. The entire cut segment is the guys talking about the recent firing of Tony Granato as the head coach of the hockey program at the University of Wisconsin.
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