Season 5 Episode 7 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; Recalibration. This week, Rob Gilreath played host again along with Dustin Lindstrom. Rob and Dustin were joined by Jack Hittinger who covers the CCHA for USCHO. In this episode, they discussed Michigan Tech’s series against Wisconsin, how the CCHA faired last weekend and Tech’s upcoming series against Clarkson and St. Lawrence.
A rough weekend
The guys started the show by discussion the rough weekend that Michigan Tech had against the University of Wisconsin. They discussed the low shot totals for Tech and Dustin suggested that everyone needs to readjust their expectations for Tech and the CCHA as a whole. Each of the guys shared their thoughts on why Tech has been struggling. All agreed that the players didn’t seem to be clicking together. The guys talked about some of the penalties that Tech took and Dustin talked about Tech needing to win the CCHA now to make it into the NCAA Tournament at the end of the year.
A look around the rest of the league
After wrapping up the discussion about Tech, the guys took a look at how the rest of the CCHA faired this past weekend. They started with with Minnesota State/UMass series. Dustin thought that Minnesota State looks like the best team in the league right now and Jack agreed with him. All of the guys were amazed that Minnesota State could lose so many players and coaches and still play at the level they are.
The next stop of the CCHA tour was St. Thomas. Jack was impressed with St. Thomas and thought they should have won both their games this past weekend against Lindenwood. None of the guys expressed surprise at how well St. Thomas has been playing. Jack pointed out that one of the St. Thomas players is second in the league in points currently.
The next discussion for the guys was the Bemidji State home and home series against Minnesota Duluth. Jack commented on the powerplay for both games and how they were both odd games. Jack also talked about Bemidji State needing to figure out their special teams if they want to improve this season.
Pushing forward, the guys moved to Bowling Green’s weekend series against Western Michigan. Rob commented on the low shot total for Bowling Green. Jack talked about Bowling Green being more short handed than normal which lead to them not being able to dress an extra skater. Dustin thought that the season was already off the rails for Bowling Green and wouldn’t get back on track.
The guys briefly discussed Ferris State’s exhibition game against Grand Valley State’s club team and Lake Superior State’s exhibition against Simon Fraser University.
The final stop of the conference tour was Northern Michigan’s series against Arizona State. Most of the conversation revolved around Northern’s ability to score along with their lack of defense. Rob pointed out that Northern played Minnesota Duluth a couple weekends ago and scored 10 goals on the weekend but didn’t win either game.
After wrapping up their league tour, the guys looked ahead to the remainder of the out of conference schedule for the CCHA. They started with Michigan Tech and talked about the upcoming series against Clarkson and St. Lawrence. Rob thought the only acceptable outcome was a Tech sweep. The guys then spent a couple minutes discussing Augustana and how they’ll fit into the Pairwise comparisons at the end of the season.
Rob hoped that Lake Superior State could pull out at least one win against either Clarkson or St. Lawrence and Dustin agreed. Jack talked about watching St. Lawrence play recently and some of the struggles they had. Rob thought Clarkson would be the tougher of the two opponents for Tech.
The guys talked about Minnesota State’s upcoming series against North Dakota. Rob and Jack both thought a split would be difficult, but doable.
There was also a discussion about the start of CCHA play this upcoming weekend. The guys talked about Ferris State playing Northern Michigan. Rob didn’t know who to pick to win and Dustin thought that both game might be 8-5 finals. The guys talked about Northern’s rough start to the season so far.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 11 minutes long. There was a discussion on the early season Pairwise rankings and which CCHA team is ranked the highest. Rob talked about being back up in Houghton this past weekend. The guys talked about the fact that there are now two Zambonis in the John MacInnes Student Ice Arena. Dustin shared a story about nearly being struck by lightning.
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