Virtual Misfits in Real Life: How Mitch’s Misfits Cheer During the Pandemic

(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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How to win a game in 90 seconds: Force defeat Stampede 4-3

(Photo Credit: Kelsey Lee-Violet Turtle Photography)

Coming into tonight’s USHL skirmish between the Fargo Force, and Sioux Falls Stampede, both teams had something to prove. The Force setout to lay claim to their fourth win in six games and grow their Western Conference lead, while the Stampede were aiming to get back to .500 on the season.

While Fargo had the last laugh tonight, things took awhile to get there.

After a first period where the Force controlled everything but the score, generating 14 shots on opposing netminder Trent Burnham to a mere five on Force netminder Brennan Boynton, it looked like the Force would take control of things in the second period. They did not, as Sioux Falls forward Michael Citara would get going towards a hat trick as he would score the next three goals after Jeremy Davidson opened things up on the power play.

The Providence commit looked to be the story of the evening as he was the star of the show. His line dominated play for every time they were on the ice, and in addition to that, the rest of the Stampede looked to bottle the Force’s quick strike offense up.

The plan almost worked

Then, St. Cloud State commit, Mason Salquist, got things rolling with a snipe 13:41 into the the third. Next, a mere 48 seconds later, Kyle Smolen pounced on a loose puck in the Sioux Falls end and fired one home to make it a tie game. Scheels Arena, with its socially distant crowd was rocking.

Owen Gallatin would then provide the game winning goal 15:12 into the final frame. He took a feed from Michael Suda and put the game back into the lead for the Force, and provided the final 4-3 margin.

This game showed a lot about both teams. For Fargo, it showed their continued resilience and ability to battle back through the face of adversity. The Force were really the better team for a five miute stretch to end the game, and in the heavy shot first period. Sioux Falls showed how their veteran side can grind down opponents and what they can do to start up after a slow beginning.

They also showed how they are vulnerable with turnovers and over reactionary play at times leading to bad results. It is only the sixth game of the season for these teams, and the playoffs are a long way away. Both have a lot to like, yet both team’s coaches will scratch their heads at points of this game. Bookmark this rivalry for later as both of these teams will play each other many more times this season.

Donate: To help us cover more games and tell more stories not found elsewhere about all of college sports, and underdogs everywhere, including in junior hockey, especially under represented athletes everywhere across the amateur sports landscape please click the below link and consider donating what you can. If you do, I will list you in every story about we write as a supporter of crowd-funded  journalism that can truly be free for all at this link: your donation will help expand what content we can offer and how many stories we can tell.