>The Case for Andy Miele or Debunking the Myth of the Frattin
Oxford, Ohio – Over the past several weeks, there has been a significant push from fans and the SID of the University of North Dakota to promote their one-year wonder, Matt Frattin (32-21-53, 38 games) for the Hobey Baker Award. As you know, Miami has a Hobey Baker candidate of our own, the nation’s leading scorer, senior Andy Miele (20-42-62, 35 games).
Much of the misinformation has been directed at one thing, UND’s perceived strength of schedule advantage over Miami. While the Fighting Sioux’s schedule strength is rated fourth by College Hockey News and Miami’s is rated 14th, it’s simply not a big enough discrepancy to matter. If we were talking about Yale’s SOS (42) or Boston College’s (27), then there might be an argument. But, just to even the playing field, I’ve pulled each players statistics in games against teams that finished in the top 6 of the WCHA and CCHA (top 6 since both UND and Miami are in the top 6 so we have 5 league teams to evaluate) and against common opponents.
Here’s what I found.
In 19 total games against Denver, Omaha, Duluth, Minnesota and Colorado College plus common opponents St. Cloud, Notre Dame and Maine, Frattin posted 11-9-20.
In 18 total games against Northern Michigan, Ferris State, Western Michigan and Michigan plus common opponents St. Cloud, Notre Dame and Maine, Miele posted 12-21-33. Since Notre Dame is a CCHA top 6 opponent as well as a common opponent, we could add New Hampshire to Miele’s resume as another top tier team. If you do that, Miele’s numbers become 12-22-34 in 20 total games.
To drill even deeper, what if we take two opponents from each league such as Denver and Omaha, and Michigan and Notre Dame, and break down each player’s performance against the very best of each league?
Frattin had 2-2-4 in 6 games and Miele posted 2-12-14 in 6 games.
Or, what if we just look at common opponents?
Frattin had 7-7-14 in eight games against St. Cloud, Maine and Notre Dame. Miele had 4-9-13 in eight games so that comparison’s about even.
So, what we’ve seen is that Frattin has absolutely destroyed the bottom half of his league and lower ranking non-conference opponents racking up huge numbers (33 points) against the likes of Minnesota State, Alaska-Anchorage and poor Michigan Tech with only 20 points against better competition.
Consider — with still one more game to play, Frattin has absolutely destroyed Michigan Tech, the 49th ranked team by KRACH of 58 in the NCAA.
- Frattin has scored 11 points or 21% of his total against Michigan Tech
- He has scored 5 goals or 16% of his total against the Huskies
- Frattin has 29% of his assists (6) against MTU
- This in just three games (8%)
Frattin’s performance against Michigan Tech has been superb. However, the Huskies are so bad, his stats are being padded against incredibly inferior competition. Remove the games against MTU and Frattin’s line is 27-15-42. And, he would have played the same number of games, 35, as Miele with 20 fewer points.
Meanwhile, Andy Miele has performed better against top competition and more evenly distributed his points with 33 against top tier teams and 29 against lower performing teams.
Lastly, Miele has been a staple in the community and has built a body of work over the past 3 1/2 seasons. Consider he had 14, 31 and 44 points in his first 2 1/2 seasons (Miele played just half of his freshman season as he enrolled at Miami at the midpoint to help push the ’07-’08 team over the hump) whereas his chief competition had just 15, 25 and 19 points (missed half of last season due to suspension) before putting up 53 in 38 games this year. Further, Frattin had just 4, 13 and 11 goals before coming out of nowhere jumping to 32 this year.
Miele has steadily improved and is clearly not a one year wonder as his goal totals have risen from 6 to 15 to 20 and counting this year. Plus, Miele’s stick handling and playmaking ability set him apart from most players in the NCAA. A trait he has demonstrated since he set foot on campus.
While the Hobey Baker Award is not a career achievement, past history, behavior and playing your best against your best competition should count and I believe they will.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, well make that the Hobey Baker selection committee, I rest my case.
Miele for Hobey.