Season 5, Episodes 19 and 20 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; Shocking and Flash Gordon. This week Tim Braun, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were joined by the television play-by-play voice of the Bowling Green Falcons, Kevin Piel. In this episode, they discussed how Kevin became the voice of the Falcons, Bowling Green’s season so far, Kevin’s game preparation routine, the upcoming series between Michigan Tech and Bowling Green, the Toledo Walleye and Michigan Tech’s series last weekend against Minnesota State.
Tim started off the episode asking Kevin how he came to be the play by play announcer for the Falcons. Kevin talked about the formation of CCHA TV and Bowling Green wanted separate radio and TV broadcasts. Kevin talked about working other sports as well as hockey and noted that he only does the home games for the Falcons and doesn’t travel with the team.
Later in the show, Kevin talked about some of the preparation he does going into a series. He talked about reviewing the line charts endlessly, talking to the opposing SIDs and watching old highlight videos. Kevin also talked about the mix of characters he’s had in the booth with him as color commentators.
Bowling Green season review
When the guys started talking about Bowling Green’s season to this point, one of the first words out of Kevin’s mouth was “shocking”. Kevin talked about not being able to talk with head coach Ty Eigner at the beginning of the season and the tough start the team had. He also talked about some early injuries and those players coming back to the ice recently. The biggest issue Kevin talked about was the lack of consistency for the Falcons. He talked about early season scoring issues and a big disparity between the quality of Bowling Green’s penalty kill and power play.
The guys then talked both Michigan Tech’s and Bowling Green’s special teams. Rob asked Kevin what sort of penalty kill design Tech fans can expect to see this weekend. Kevin talked about Bowling Green’s recent power play set up against Northern Michigan and some of the puck luck they had in that series.
Matt asked Kevin what Bowling Green’s key to success will be moving forward. Kevin thought consistency was the key and previously injured players getting their legs back under them. Kevin talked about the locker room being focused and the team coming out with good energy on Fridays but not maintaining that energy into Saturdays.
Bowling Green series preview
Before fulling diving into the weekend preview, the guys talked about the ongoing rivalry between Michigan Tech and Bowling Green. Kevin agreed that Tech was high up on Bowling Green’s rival list along with Ferris State, Ohio State and Western Michigan.
Getting into the upcoming series between Michigan Tech and Bowling Green, Kevin thought that it was going to be a difficult series for Bowling Green. He talked about his hopes being raised with Bowling Green’s recent play at Lake Superior State and hoped that Bowling Green could steal one game in Houghton. Tim shared his excitement with the upcoming series and thought that the special teams battles would be interesting. The guys talked about how penalty-prone the series has been in recent years.
Later in the show, Rob and Matt both picked a Michigan Tech sweep.
A nice surprise
Once Kevin left the show, the guys shifted focus to reviewing Michigan Tech’s series against Minnesota State. The start of the conversation focused on the different viewing experiences between being there in person (like Tim was) and those who were watching on FloSports (Matt and Rob). Tim also told a story about meeting a NHL coach at the game who recognized him.
Matt thought that sweeping Minnesota State was a big deal and was encouraged for how the rest of the season will play out. Tim was also encouraged that Michigan Tech was able to hold onto a lead. There was a discussion on whether Michigan Tech should have had a penalty shot in overtime.
Tim talked about the blue line for Michigan Tech getting things figured out in the last couple games. He also thought that the special teams were good against Minnesota State. The guys talked about Michigan Tech’s goaltending situation and continued to wonder how much of an impact Jamie Philips leaving had on Black Pietila.
Miscellaneous end of show topics
The guys had two items they discussed at the end of the show, and both were much more pertinent to hockey than normal. There was a discussion on where the CCHA teams currently stand in the Pairwise rankings and how the poor showing for the conference during out of conference play affects the positioning. Tim talked about arguing with a Minnesota Gopher fan on X about St. Thomas winning the CCHA tournament and who the conference would send to the NCAA tournament in that situation.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately nine minutes long. There was a discussion on Austen Swankler coming to Michigan Tech. The guys discussed the goal song for the Detroit Red Wings. The guys talked about the proper term for doing donuts in a car in a parking lot. Tim talked about the new Minnesota Wild head coach.
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