Season 5 Episodes 17 and 18 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; Happy Accident and Mitch Eagen. This week Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were joined by former Michigan Tech hockey player and current head coach of Simley Spartans (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) Boy’s hockey team, Austyn Kryzer. In this episode, they discussed Austyn’s playing career at Michigan Tech, his team’s recent trip to Houghton to watch Michigan Tech play against Ferris State, how Austyn became the head coach at Simley, Michigan Tech’s series against Ferris State, Michigan Tech’s upcoming series with Minnesota State and Minnesota high school hockey.
Austyn’s playing time at Michigan Tech
Tim started off by asking Austyn about how became a player at Michigan Tech. Austyn talked about playing in the USHL for a couple years with two teammates who were committed to Tech and getting an offer after a hot streak during a visit by the Tech coaching staff. Austyn also talked about the allure of a civil engineering degree from Michigan Tech.
Austyn also talked about playing for two different coaches in Bob Mancini and Tim Watters. Austyn told a number of stories throughout the episode about Mancini, including one where he entered the locker room reading the story of David and Goliath to the Tech players before their game against St. Cloud State in the WCHA final five. Another story later in the episode centered around Michigan Tech only playing with half a roster during one of Austyn’s Great Lakes Invitational games due to multiple players going to the bar the night before. Several times throughout the episode Austyn said that Mancini was the best coach he ever played for.
Tim asked Austyn to compare the atmosphere between his playing days and his recent trip to Houghton to watch Michigan Tech play Ferris State. Austyn talked about the main constant being the pep band, but also pointed out that the students have always been supportive as well. This lead to a conversation about the video scoreboard at the Mac and the balance needed between letting the pep band play and the piped in arena music. Sprinkled throughout the episode were Tim’s, Rob’s and Dustin’s stories of being at Tech during Austyn’s playing days.
The guys spent some time talking about some of the teammates Austyn had at Tech, including occasional Tech color man Brent Peterson. Austyn talked about the hands and puck handling skill that Brent had and told a story about Brent introducing Austyn to Austyn’s jersey number as a freshman. Rob talked about being a kid and watching Brent play.
Towards the end of the episode, Austyn showed the guys his puck collection that he grabbed from all of the WCHA hockey arenas during his playing days. This included a story about how he snagged a puck from the penalty box at UMD’s arena.
Austyn’s recent visit to Michigan Tech
Recently, Austyn took the high school team he coaches to Michigan Tech to watch their series against Ferris State. Austyn talked about having been back to Tech a couple times for the career fair and the guys talked about some of the changes to Houghton since Austyn’s playing days. Austyn talked at length about the tours his team got of the SDC, the Mac, and Michigan Tech’s campus. The guys discussed whether gravy or ketchup is the correct condiment for use while eating a pasty.
The guys shifted focus to Michigan Tech’s game against Ferris State and Tim asked Austyn for his thoughts on the game. Austyn talked about watching warmups and the skill level of Division I hockey players. Austyn specifically pointed out Jack Works as a scrappy player that he enjoyed watching. The guys talked about Michigan Tech’s defensive line struggles this year and Austyn talked about freshman needing time to adjust to the speed and physicality of D1 hockey.
Coaching at Simley
There were several questions sprinkled throughout the episode about Austyn coaching at Simley. Austyn talked about how he came to be the head coach and some of the challenges he faces on a daily basis. He also talked about having 17 seniors on his team this year and what it means to them to be playing their final year of hockey with their friends.
Michigan Tech’s upcoming series against Minnesota State
The guys very briefly touched on Michigan Tech’s upcoming series against Minnesota State. It was in fact so brief that they mentioned the game is happening, Matt let his stupid hang out, and then the guys moved on to other more fun stories.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 27 minutes long. Austyn told a story about line brawls playing against Minnesota and Northern Michigan. Austyn talked about his current players loving the EA Sports room for the ESports athletes at Michigan Tech and how the ESports athletes are monitored for their fitness. There was a discussion on the Thanksgiving Hockey Tournament that Simley is hosting this year. The guys talked about Michigan and Minnesota high school hockey teams playing each other. The guys talked about community families hosting hockey players and how it’s not allowed any more. There was extended discussion on Minnesota high school hockey. The guys talked about traveling between Minnesota and Houghton and the speed limit rules. Rob expressed his hate for Woodman’s grocery stores and their floors.
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