(Photo Credit: Evan Fuerst)
There are many student sections in college hockey with superb traditions, and dedicated to their teams. All are suffering a lack of in person viewing of the teams they cheer for due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. However, not all student sections are created equal. Mitch’s Misfits, a student run group that follows the Huskies of Michigan Tech is the most disciplined, organized, and concerted with their efforts to cheer for their Huskies.
To give you a brief example of how dedicated this group is, they follow the Huskies all over the country wherever they can. Last year they traveled to the Ralph Engelstad Arena and watched their team play a close game against the Fighting Hawks. Not only did they attend the Ralph, they were the loudest group of fans from start to finish all night long. Their cheers from the upper deck were heard everywhere in tbe building.
In addition to this, there group not only is an official one on campus, but they work to bring more fans from one of the better, more unheralded engineering schools in the country to the game every single night. They provide a model of what it means to be a fan of the entire game of college hockey, while working to get more people in the stands next to you, not just going to the game. Students travel with this group for multi-day excursions when the Huskies play far away. Not many student groups do that with some institutional support.
With all of this background said, we turn back to the current reality the Misfits face, they cannot show up in their own rink and cheer so loud that folks in North Dakota could hear them on some nights. They have had to adapt to the ever changing rules and regulations of this pandemic, and still have some positive thoughts about their hockey team’s opponent this weekend, the Chargers of Alabama Huntsville.
Evan Fuerst and Shane Cruthers are two leaders of the Misfits, and quotes below are from both of them.
First, on this weekend’s series against a team many thought would not still be active this year, they said
” I think UAH’s effort to save their program is amazing. It shows that hockey communities can come out of anywhere. The outpouring of fans, former players and college hockey fans alike was amazing to see. We think it shows that college hockey can mean more to a community than just a fun thing to watch. ” The featured picture showcasing the Misfits in this article is from one of their trips to the Von Braun Center. Hopefully, at some point soon, they can make another one there.
Back to the Misfits, given that the vast majority of classes at Michigan Tech are online, they have had to do other things to maintain the wonderful community they have built. For instance ” We were attempting to do a social at our house early in the semester full of socially distanced games. That was later cancelled because of increased covid guidelines which prohibited that plan. We have also hosted watch parties online for our fans to interact with one another while still staying safe.”
With that said, the group still has things to watch for on the ice, that would serve as a quick heads up to fans of the Chargers and other WCHA opponents.
As they said, “Carson Bantle has been one of my favorite players to watch in the first few games of the season. He has shown to be a key offensive contributor and is also very physical on the ice. A lot of us think he will blossom into a key contributor all over the ice, and it shows with Arizona’s draft choice of him.”
Finally, while the group hopes to be able to travel at some point in the year, due to ever changing regulations amidst a global pandemic, they know that may not happen this year. With that said they do hope things improve enough to hold ” a group watch party if that is allowed by the school, as we normally do for the teams road games. We would like to set up some pond hockey games with all those from the organization to get out and enjoy the winter season.”
The Misfits, like all of us, are dealing with this pandemic and new regulations as best they can do. Also like us, they hope that soon, Houghton and every other city with a college hockey team in it, can welcome back fans at capacity. Until then, the Misfits are doing what they can to bring together Huskies over Michigan Tech Hockey in the safest way possible.
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