Double or nothing for Miami?

I had the pleasure of listening to this week’s Hobey Watch podcast, with their special guest, Miami head coach Rico Blasi, and it got me thinking about the RedHawks’ high-scoring duo of Carter Camper and Andy Miele.

After this weekend’s games, it’s now Miele who leads the national scoring race, with one goal and two assists more than Camper, making it really hard to pick which one is the more likely Hobey winner. And naturally, Blasi isn’t planning on promoting one over the other, which is pretty much what you’d expect from a program that prides itself on its “Brotherhood.” (and I mean that in the best way possible).

Certainly, there’s no reason why Camper would keep Miele from winning the Hobey, or vice versa. Just look at Marty Sertich and Brett Sterling in 2005. I’m also reminded of a couple of years ago, when Chad Kolarik – who could have easily been a Hobey finalist himself that year – told anyone who would listen that Kevin Porter was the real Hobey candidate on the team. I could see something like that happening at Miami, although I don’t know which one would promote the other over himself (perhaps both?).

However, the reality is that while both players are having fantastic individual seasons, and are near-certain finalists, that could be as far as it gets. I’m going to predict that if Miami doesn’t make the NCAA tournament, neither one of them is going to win the Hobey.

Yes, the first Hobey I saw handed out in person – 2006 – went to a player whose team didn’t make the NCAA tournament, Denver’s Matt Carle. Carle, however, had won two NCAA titles already at DU, and that season, he was 10th in the nation in scoring  with 1.36 PPG. No blueliner has been that high up since, although Wisconsin’s Justin Schultz is as close as it comes this season, 14th in the country at 1.30. The point, though, is that there were extenuating circumstances for Carle, and they don’t exist for Miami’s dynamic duo.

Of course, we won’t know whether Miami is in or out by the time the finalists are selected (although if the RedHawks aren’t still playing at that point, it’s pretty likely they’ll be out), but when the Hobey winner is chosen, Camper and Miele need to have played in this season’s tournament to win. The next six games – against Michigan, Western Michigan, and Lake Superior – will tell us a lot as to whether they’re in or out of the running.

And, if Camper and Miele wind up out, and Yale’s offensive machine has slowed down (Broc Little is the top ‘Dog at 18th in the country with 1.29 ppg), who’s the front-runner? Paul Thompson? Chase Polacek? Schultz? Cam Atkinson?

It’s about to get very interesting…