Season 5, Episodes 31 and 32 of the Chasing MacNaughton Podcast from Tech Hockey Guide; Whipping Shitties and End That Skunk. This week, Tim Braun, Dustin Lindstrom, Rob Gilreath and Matt Cavender were joined by Lucas Pipenhagen who runs the Beaver Territory media outlet for all things Bemidji State hockey. In these episodes they discussed Bemidji State’s season so far, Michigan Tech’s lack of goal scoring, similarities and differences between Michigan Tech and Bemidji State this season and Michigan Tech’s previous series against St. Thomas.
Bemidji State’s season
The conversation started with Lucas providing a summary of Bemidji State’s season. He talked about the team being extremely inconsistent, dealing with a lot of injuries and having a lot of question marks. He also talked about Bemidji State not having developed a team identity yet. Tim thought that Michigan Tech was also missing their identity this season. Lucas specifically pointed out a backward slide in Bemidji State’s defensive production compared to years past. The guys talked about both Bemidji State’s and Michigan Tech’s special teams play.
Later in the show Lucas talked about Bemidji State’s recent series against Ferris State. He discussed Ferris State outplaying Bemidji State and pointed out several top players getting a lot of penalty kill minutes, which prevented them from playing higher minutes while full strength.
Shoot puck, score
Tim took a bit of a dive into some goal scoring stats for Michigan Tech this season. He compared Michigan Tech’s total shots per game, shots blocked per game and their goals per game to last year’s team. The guys talked about what factors have changed from last year and they identified the defense being the biggest point of change. They discussed the lack of production from the defense this year and the consensus was to chalk it up to inexperience. Tim also thought that some players may not be putting in the effort required to play at a high level.
St. Thomas series recap
All of the guys agreed that Michigan Tech cannot give up two goals in the first two minutes of a game and expect to win. Matt thought the other 58 minutes of the Thursday game were good. The guys talked about St. Thomas being an improved team this year and not being embarrassed with getting swept. Tim brought up that he didn’t feel Jack Works had his usual energy during the series. Matt and Rob both felt the same, even though they were watching from the comfort of their homes.
Tim also brought up Kyle Kukkonen and how he seemed to change after breaking his scoring drought. Tim was surprised Kyle didn’t get more penalties as the game went on. This lead to a discussion about Michigan Tech’s penalties and their inopportune timing. Rob shared his thoughts on Michigan Tech trying to be too cute rather than driving the net and banging around in the crease.
Bemidji State series preview
Switching gears to the upcoming weekend, Lucas didn’t feel great about Bemidji State’s chances against Michigan Tech given their uncertainties and inconsistencies. Lucas did point out that Bemidji State should be getting some injured players back which would help the team, but pointed out that they still need to put together a complete weekend.
The guys discussed some of Michigan Tech’s injuries, specifically focusing on Arvid Caderoth and his timeline to return. This lead to a discussion on which player should get moved out of the center position once Arvid is cleared to return.
Rob joked that Bemidji State and Michigan Tech will find ways to “out awful” each other. Matt and Lucas agreed that both of the games will be different, with one being high scoring and one a defense matchup. Dustin was excited to see how Austen Swankler can get under the Bemidji State players’ skin. This lead to a discussion about Austen and the skills and attitude that he brings to the ice.
Closing the series preview with predictions, Matt picked Michigan Tech to win on Friday and lose on Saturday. Lucas picked the reverse with Bemidji State winning big on Friday and Tech winning a close one on Saturday. Dustin declared that he has given up all hope for Michigan Tech this year and picked a Bemidji State sweep. Rob picked a sweep with Bemidji State winning the Friday game in overtime. Tim also picked a Bemidji State sweep and decided that it was time to lower his expectations of Michigan Tech hockey in 2024.
Hand egg discussion
At the end of the show, the guys spent a couple minutes talking about football. They started by discussing the recently completed playoff games, then dove into their various fantasy football teams. Rob’s eyes visibly glazed over during this discussion.
Cut for time
This week’s cut time for Patrons is approximately 9 minutes long. Matt told a story about his car being frozen to the road. Dustin told a story about seeing a snowmobile emerge from a snowbank during the spring melt while at Michigan Tech. Lucas talked about parking on Lake Bemidji when he went to school there. The guys talked about how Bemidji uses their third assistant coach. There was extended discussion on the NFL and fantasy football.
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