Season 5 Episodes 11 and 12 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; It’s October and Frustrating. This week, Tim Braun, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were joined by the head hockey coach at Augustana University Garrett Raboin. In this episode, they discussed Garrett’s hockey playing career, how he got started coaching, how he became the head coach at Augustana, the culture he wants to build as head coach, Michigan Tech’s weekend series against St. Lawrence and Clarkson and Michigan Tech’s upcoming series against Augustana.
Tim started off the show by testing Garrett’s memory from his playing days at St. Cloud State (SCSU). Tim asked if Garrett remembered MeanEgirl and whether or not he remembered the Misfits. Garrett said he remembered both and said that fan support was incredible in Houghton.
Playing and coaching
The guys continued to reminisce about the olden days and Tim asked Garrett to talk about his time as a player for SCSU and playing during the peak of the WCHA. Garrett discussed it being the glory days of college hockey and every weekend was awesome. Rob wondered if Tech would have turned the program around like it has in the old WCHA. The guys talked about the creation of the NCHC and how it propelled those teams to another level.
Moving to the more modern times, Rob asked Garrett how he transitioned from playing to coaching and where he got started. Garrett talked about spending time playing in Europe and but always having the desire to get into coaching in the US. Garrett talked about being rejected from coaching jobs at several levels before landing at SCSU as an assistant. Garrett also talked about moving from SCSU to Minnesota and some of the difficulties in doing so.
Tim then circled back to the good old days and asked Garrett about how he ended up at SCSU. Garrett talked about playing in the USHL and walking on at SCSU because it was close to home.
Getting the big gig
Tim asked Garrett to elaborate on how he got the head coaching job at Augustana. Garrett talked about the opening being an attractive one and what his interview process was like. Rob asked Garrett what step one is when coaching a program that is just getting started. Garrett discussed working in the weight room with some of the players, working on the jersey designs and skating until the rest of the team was on campus.
Getting the season started
The guys then got into Augustana’s season to this point. Garrett talked about playing against Wisconsin and former Minnesota State head coach Mike Hastings. Garrett also talked about some of the factors to Augustana’s successful beginning to the season. He talked about the transfer portal being a tool in building his roster but also thought that it was scary to bring in a large number of players that the coaching staff barely knew. The guys talked about the difficulty of keeping players happy in the age of the portal.
In that similar vein, Matt asked Garrett about his process of establishing a culture for the team and keeping it positive. Garrett talked about having players who have been leaders on previous teams and also having players get to know each other personally, not just as teammates. The guys talked about the buy in from both Augustana University and the CCHA and how it can lead to success for the hockey team.
Tim asked about Augustana filling out their schedule since they aren’t playing a full CCHA schedule this year. Garrett talked about getting his players experience in different parts of the county, but also being mindful to not travel too much. The guys talked about two for ones and Garrett talked about preferring home and home series.
After Garrett left, the guys shifted their attention to Michigan Tech’s previous weekend’s games against St. Lawrence and Clarkson. Tim was frustrated that Tech fared worse than Lake Superior State and also voiced his displeasure at some of head coach Joe Shawhan’s comments during the weekend. The guys talked about Tech’s power play not being effective on the weekend and questioned some of the skater choices for the shootout against St. Lawrence.
Neither Rob or Tim were able to watch much of the Saturday game against Clarkson but they still expressed frustration at the result. The guys spent a long time discussing Tech’s inability to score goals in recent years. Matt hypothesized that the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Lions both being good meant that Michigan Tech hockey had to be bad. Rob reminded everyone that it’s only October and to calm down.
The guys talked about their feelings for the upcoming weekend series against Augustana. Rob expressed nervousness and Matt took the roll of Debbie Downer and picked an Augustana sweep. Tim didn’t want to go that far and picked a split with Michigan Tech goaltender Max Vayrynen getting a win. Matt discussed his failing optimism and said he wants to be proven wrong. The guys also discussed their lack of optimism for Tech’s series against Bemidji State in two weeks.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 7 minutes long. There was extended discussion on Augustana’s new arena. The guys talked about the troubles they’ve been having with InStat.
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