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…


  1. Miele’s the best player in the country…you read it here. Camper isnt scoring nearly the pace he was since he was taken off Miele’s line.

  2. Miele’s the best player in the country…you read it here. Camper isnt scoring nearly the pace he was since he was taken off Miele’s line.

  3. I am guessing Notre Dame goes independent and gets their games teelvised on Versus/NBC Sports. Then Western joins NCHA. The question is then , who would the NCHA rather have to make it an even 8 teams….St. Cloud State or Bowling Green? My guess is even though SCSU has been better talent wise lately, the NCHA would prefer Bowling Green because they are a D1 school with D1 money.

    • Here how I think it works out.

      A: Notre Dame goes to NCHC. Western Michigan goes with them to NCHC. Bowling Green goes to WCHA. Alabama-Huntville remains independent.NCHC has 8 schools, WCHA has 10 schools. The dancing stops there. 70% chance of happening
      B. Notre Dame goes to Hockey East. Western Michigan and Bowling Green go to NCHC. Alabama-Huntsville gets invited to WCHA. Random team X from AHA goes to Hockey East. NCHC has 8 teams, WCHA has 10 teams. Hockey East has 12 teams. Atlantic Hockey has 11 teams. (Hockey East will not go to 11 school league. It is either 10 current or 12, 14 or another multiple of 2.) 25% chance of happening.
      C. Notre Dame goes independent and has no one to schedule during league play, since HE, ECAC, AHA, WCHA, BTHC and NCHC all have an even number of teams. Notre Dame is independent only in football and only because of the national football fanbase. Western Michigan and Bowling Green go to NCHC. Alabama-Huntsville gets invited to WCHA. NCHC has 8 teams and WCHA has 10 teams. 5% of happening.

      It is possible in scenario B that WCHA would not invite Alabama-Huntsville, but play them during league weekends until it added UM-Moorhead’s proposed program.

      In the end, HE 10 teams (12) ECAC 12 teams, AHA 12 (11) teams, BTHC 6 teams, WCHA 10 teams, NCHC 8 teams, Independent 1 team (0)

      • “Random Team X from AHA goes to Hockey East.”

        Random X team is UCONN.  They’re already in the WHEA and are a natural fit with all the other New England state schools in the league.  I actually think UCONN to HEA was inevitable anyway, this would just expedite that move.

        • I completely agree with this assessment, but in other threads people have pointed out some concerns to be ironed out, the biggest being Title IX and UConn’s current reluctance to offer scholarships for Men’s Hockey.

          I see a large television market, a large public university with a very successful athletic program that has alumni in New York and Boston, and ties to the World Wide Leader. Hockey East on ESPNU would be a nice fit.

          If not UConn, Hockey East would find another New England school from AHA. The only ECAC schools in New England are part of the Ivy League in all other sports and they will not leave to join HE. They would leave to create a six-team Ivy League Hockey Conference. The New York schools will stick together for rivalry and travel purposes.

  4. My question is who is going to be the last CCHA member?

    Bowling Green, WMU, and Notre Dame? NCHC or WCHA or Hockey East?

    Bowling Green said in Bowling Green blogs and newspaper have stated that they will accept the WCHA offer for 2013-2014.

    They know they will not get an invite to the NCHC. They will try to poach another member maybe St Cloud.

    Why doesnt WMU go to the NCHC? I heard they were approached? They wouldnt have to wait for Notre Dames decision.

  5. When talking about Notre Dame, you always have to look at the football realignment that Texas A & M is kicking off.  The Big 10 and Southeast Conferences will probably grow to 16 teams.  Notre Dame is always mentioned with the Big 10, though they have always resisted.  At some point, the money might just be too big, especially if their FB team keeps losing.  NBC might not stay with them forever.  If this happens, the hockey team will be in the Big 10.  Also makes one wonder if this is why they have been non-commital about hockey confernces to date.

  6. Awesome article, I was just wondering now that most of the dominos have fallen except for the big blue and gold one, the picture should be a lot clearer now

    • KR – If the Ivies left for their own league, it would be a six-team league with a VERY short season, as the Ivy League does not play games during exam periods. This is why the Ivy League football champion does not play in the FCS (D-I AA) playoffs. Since all six Ivy League teams are Division I, they keep their D-I seat.

      The Ivy League Hockey conference would have an autobid with six schools and consist of: Brown, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton and Yale, with Columbia and Penn currently not fielding D-I hockey.

      The ECAC would retain its autobid with six schools and consist of : Clarkson, Colgate, Quinnipiac, RPI, St Lawrence and Union. Colgate and Quinnipiac are D-I schools across the board, so ECAC and ILHC would both have a seat at the D-I table.

      I personally see little difference between a 12-team ECAC and two 6-team leagues, other than autobids. The conferences would probably each other during “league” play, even if it were one less game per team for “non-conference” games between ILHC and ECAC. For example, two teams would travel to Clarkson/St Lawrence and swap Friday/Saturday opponents.

      The Ivies are definitely stable enough and well-funded enough to make their own league. The non-Ivies are all in New York State and Western Connecticut (Fairfield County IIRC), so travel makes sense. I am not sure if AHA would poach schools, be poached or pull a WCHA/CCHA style merger.

      ECAC is a stable league and the Ivies are satisfied with the current state of affairs. I have not heard any of the schools complaining about anything. I always wonder about their post-season tournament, as it has been in search of a permanent natural home. My guess is that if the Ivies left, they would not host a tournament and give the autobid to the regular season winner like they do in a basketball and football.

      If a non-Ivy ECAC were to be formed, I imagine that the tournament would be moved to Albany/Syracuse on a nearly permanent basis. Perhaps they would rotate. You can count Rochester out as long as RIT is in AHA and count Buffalo out as long as Niagara is in AHA.

    • I’d make a case that Air Force would be a good candidate for the NCHC, much better that the suggestions of Bowling Green and Western Michigan.  NCHC is a much better fit geographically for Air Force than Atlantic Hockey.  Notre Dame goes to NCHC, Bowling Green and W. Michigan go to WCHA, Alabama Hutsville goes to Atlantic Hockey, and all God’s children have a home.

      • There is NO chance that Air Force gets an invite to the new NCHC. They just don’t put the money into their college hockey program to get the invite. So that isn’t going to happen.

  7. For the best of college hockey i would like to see Notre Dame ignore the NCHC. Why?

    Because it would be better for college hockey to have Bowling Green and WMU to play in the NCHC. Both teams would take a downward slide in the WCHA going to small barns with no natraul rivals of going to places like Soo, Houghton, Bemdji,,Mankato and St Cloud.

    In the NCHC both Bowling Green and WMU could play their MAC foe Miami and each other which would be a bonus. Plus they could play NC games against MSU, Michigan, Notre Dame and OSU.

    By playing in the WCHA they downplaying themselves to D2 schools in a far distance. In the NCHC they play equal opponents ie similar programs plus make room to play strong NC teams.

    So please Notre Dame go Independent or Hockey East.

    Also, Denver, CC, UMD, UNO and ND, let Bowling Green and WMU in and shutout Notre Dame for the good of college hockey if you know what i mean.

    By this happening the WCHA could look to expand with Moorhead, UAH Chargers, Robert Morris, or Mercyhurst.

    • You obviously haven’t been tortured the past 15 years like me, seeing Bowling Green and Western come to town to play hockey.  Year in year out, they are very mediocre programs.  The stands are often half empty when they come to town!

      • I could see both BG and WMU disappearing in a league with northern Michigan teams, northern Minnesota teams, and Alaska teams. With a big league of 11-12 teams they wouldnt have too many NC games to play and no rivals with teams that are D2 schools. Travel to these small towns would be very costly. Both schools are enjoyed the CCHA as they had all close teams to play ie MSU, Michgan, Miami, OSU, Notre Dame.

        It would benifit both schools to play in a small league NCHC of 8 schools with very similar D1 schools. They could play the league schedule and have lots of room to schedule local teams(OSU,MSU,Mich, ND, in NC play.

        The MAC factor also plays into the equation. League games against Miami, BG and WMU would be good PR for the league in Michigan and Ohio.

        Both programs could grow  playing opponents with top notch programs from the WCHA and recruiting and exposure will help in the long run.

        I believe both WMU and BG programs would die in the new WCHA. Travel would kill the programs,no rivals, and no room for NC games against local college teams. 

        Would rather be a big house in a small city or a small house in a big city?

  8. From a Gophers fan perspective; don’t care for the “new” BIG 10 alignment which effectively kills some storied rivalries from the “old” WCHA, namely UMD and UND. Also a bit of a step back for some of the other MN State colleges especially BSU who lobbied hard for membership with a new arena and have grown into their D1 shoes rather quickly. Might be a bit harder for teams to make the tournament Was excited to see Blais and UNO come in as well.  I get it that alot of the old teams will show up at times on the schedule but will PENN ST hockey even matter? If anything It’ll create more fan apathy inside more than a few rinks this season and that won’t sell tickets.Good luck with that. Ok so I’m whining!

  9. Here is my feeling on the Big Picture of the new WCHA.

    First, I see it for MTU it is like having friends for many years and all sudden it looks like St Cloud will be the latest to bail on MTU and the WCHA. Wouldnt it have been easier for mtu to save the CCHA with their team and cup.

    Heres my picture of the New WCHA 2013-2014

    MTU Huskies- lack of wins, leadership(to many coaches over the years), remote
                          area nobody wants to go beat up. lack of bluechippers.
                          Living in the past(3 NCAAs nobody remembers)

    NMU Wildcats– Future NCHC team, great leadership, great city for small town,  Gets bluechippers, Has some NCAA appearences, Could win league many years before being accepted into NCHC.(1 NCAA Championship) 

    LSSU Lakers– Jumped at the WCHA, remote town, great history, lack of wins lately, (3 NCAA championships)

    Ferris State- Just in a bad location in a small rink,

    WMU Broncos- The NCHC just wont take them. NHL coach-great. Kalmazoo just isnt appealing enough for the big time college hockey citys. Lack of leadership(coach changes). North Dakota and Denver just dont want to visit.

    Bowling Green–lack of fans, wins, money, and appeal. Great history. Just doesnt have support to play in the NCHC. Western teams dont want to play BG.

    Bemdji- Glad to be in the WCHA better then Division 3.

    Mankato- Lack of wins and appeal. At least it is a minnesota school which teams want to play.

    UAA and Alaska— Both teams are here because nobody wants to travel here anymore if they dont have to. So the small schools and the MAC schools will get left the privalage to fly every year.

    A league of small towns in the remote woods and big schools that nobody wants to play.

     Like they say in the real estate business LOCATION, LOCATION, AND LOCATION.

    And thats what the 2013-2014 New WCHA will lack.

  10. In summary there are 3 well established Division 1 college hockey conferences unchanged Atlantic, ECAC & Hockey East.2 new conferences, The Big 10 & NCHC, that are made from major colleges or highly successfull hockey programs.This leaves the “new” WHCA. As of today the 2013-14 league is 9 Division II schools with Division I Hockey programs.I think the “new” WCHA should get TWO automatic bids to the NCAA tournament. The WCHA’s & the CCHA’S. That would balance the scales of division I college hockey a bit and help support the new WCHA which will probably be the financialy weakest and most at risk league in division I hockey.

  11. Nice job ignoring Western Michigan sitting 5 points behind first place and at a two game disadvantage. The only CCHA team with less losses than WMU is Notre Dame whose single loss was delivered by, wait for it, Western Michigan.

  12. I wouldn’t take too much from Ferris’ weekend against Michigan. Michigan is just playing awful right now. Like as awful as they’ve ever been in the last quarter century

  13. In response to both comments so far.

    I completely agree, do not forget about Western. They are a great team and should not be forgotten. They just need a few more conference games to get back to the level (points wise) as the top 4 teams. Don’t forget tho, Miami also has 2 losses in conference and no losses otherwise, beating Western’s 1 loss out of conference.

    As for Ferris vs Michigan. Michigan is not nearly as good as they should be, they always start strong, but can’t complete a game. So if anybody can play 60 minutes they will beat U of M. On the other side, Ferris is still a strong team this year. Not as good as last year but they still have a great deal of potential.

    Let’s keep the season going and see how everything plays out!

  14. let’s see how much coverage FSU WMU series gets this weekend, you know, arguably the two best teams in the conference last year? But no, we will probably cover OSU, U of M, MSU and I am waiting for Penn St. coverage to start.

    • .
      let’s not get over confident now… while i hope for a sweep as well (as it should be) its these kind of series that get you in trouble.

      regardless, what a season!


      • Any series in Alaska is tough. Tech has a much better chance of a sweep then MSU does. I’d be surprised if MSU gets 4 pts. Both teams might be looking ahead too their match up plus travel to Alaska sucks. A lot of good teams lose up there regardless of how the Alaska teams are playing.

        • .
          couldn’t agree with you more… and on top, anchorage is desperate. but yes, MSU has the tougher series.

          i am hoping that anchorage does not make the playoffs… some how it makes things “better” if both alaska teams sit out.

          so here is to tech playing either UAH or LSSU in houghton… or ferris or bemidji…

          it will come down to the wire again!

          • I do wish in these situations that they could move dates. It would have been great to have Mich tech MN state as the last series of the year for the cup.

          • .
            ahhh…. the cup. the only thing older out there is the stanley cup… and only by 20 years.

            its time the macnaugton comes back home to michigan’s copper country… where it was born back in 1913 – in calumet, 15 miles north of houghton – ‘by chance’ where i happen to live.

          • Tech plays Northern last weekend, exactly as it should be. Intense rivalry. OT last two games (w/ NMU picking up a win on one game).

      • Ernie said they did stay in Ironwood and skated there Thursday morning before coming to Marquette. The weather and roads were just awful Wednesday night and the bussy didn’t want to risk it and he agreed. Smart decision. As many hours and miles as we spend on busses in the winter, it’s always great to know that safety is of the utmost importance. BSU is a first class program with an A-1 Coach.

  15. This might be the best weekend for Tech and MSU to show the committee they mean business. On the road, in Alaska against two scrappy teams. A clean sweep from both teams would be huge for their campaign for top seeds in the tourney.


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