We’re two weeks into the WCHA season and every team in the league has sustained at least one loss.

Last season, this was not the case. Michigan Tech won its first 10 games. Both Alaska schools went unbeaten in the two tournaments up there. And Northern Michigan stayed undefeated in its first six tournaments.

This season, that ship has sailed early. All 10 teams have at least one loss — some worse than others. That being said, a few teams are better set up after their opening weekends in nonconference play. Is this too small a sample size this early? We’ll see. Let’s examine.

1. Minnesota State can’t score

Preseason conference favorite and defending MacNaughton and Final Five champion Minnesota State has struggled most out of any team. Sure, the Mavericks have played two top-tier NCHC schools — Omaha and St. Cloud — but the way they have lost, with two goals in four games and three straight shutouts — has been most shocking. They’re the only team in the league without a victory. And it could stay that way — the Mavs’ next two opponents are Bemidji State and Alaska. Speaking of which…

2. Beavers, Falcons playing strong

So far, the team with the most impressive result (that is, the team that has performed the best against the stiffest non-conference opponent) has been Bemidji State. The Beavers are 1-1-1 with a win over No. 7 Minnesota Duluth and a tie and a loss to No. 1 North Dakota (BSU and UND were tied 2-2 with 10 minutes left in the game but ended up losing 5-2 following a questionable 5-minute major penalty). The Falcons are 3-1-1 with their lone loss coming on a weird Tuesday game against Western Michigan. At the very least, BSU and BG have the best track record out of the conference, which overall has been much weaker for the WCHA compared to a season ago.

3. Tech in position, maybe?

Michigan Tech and Ferris State split the first conference series of the season, with Tech winning the opener in Big Rapids 5-1 before the Bulldogs took game two 3-2. It’s still pretty hard to judge anything so early — especially since the Huskies are starting a week behind everybody else. They played a pair of exhibitions two weeks ago when most of the college hockey world was starting up, so it’s probably not too shocking that they are still finding their legs. But if Minnesota State is going to continue to struggle and the Huskies want to make a statement and pull ahead in the conference after finishing second (by a point) last season, they need to find a way to get as many points as they can in the first month (or so) of the season. Tech plays rivals Northern Michigan next weekend then hosts Ferris for the return trip before traveling to Huntsville.

  • Jdorf40

    If anyone is unfamiliar with Matt Frattin or the route he took to get here, either youtube ‘Matt Frattin “Making the most of a second chance” or use this link. It was done by the school and its a pretty solid piece.

  • SiouxAlumDenver

    Ummm, the Pony Express line is Frattin, Malone, and Trupp from North Dakota. Connolly is on the FCC line….wow.

    • WI Sioux Fan

      How much more evidence does anyone need that there is a major East coast bias on these columns? You are a professional writer that covers College Hockey for a living and you can’t get that really easy fact right. I agree . . . WOW! I sure hope Elliot doesn’t have a vote, he might just vote for Gerbe again.

      • WI Sioux Fan

        He really should watch more hockey from outside New England. (Although he may have seen a game or two in Ohio) It will be Miele or Frattin. Of course I am parcial to Frattin.

        • WoogLips4Ever

          I am partial to Fartin too

      • Elliot Olshansky

        We all make mistakes, guys, a thought you should be familiar with if you’re supporting Frattin.

        Seriously, though, I’m sorry about that mistake. See above: I shouldn’t do this when I’m sick.

        As for Gerbe, I said all along that Kevin Porter was the clear winner. Go back and read what I wrote at the time.

        I don’t mind you taking shots at me – it’s a reality I’ve learned to deal with ever since my horrific interview with Phil Kessel in the summer of ’05 – but I do think you’re overreacting just a bit.

        • Just a question about the character. Do you think someone’s off ice from two years ago affects this years voting, or do they look at someone’s character from this year only?

          Honest opinion people?

          • HRGuy

            It doesn’t matter this year, Joey….But, the Frattin supporters thinks the fact that he came back from these troubles should count on why Frattin does get the hobey….and that is more wrong than not considering him because he got in trouble.

          • I’m a Frattin supporter and I dont think it should be held against him or for him, overcoming it is a wash (especially since he overcame it last season and this is a yearly award).

            So, if we go by off ice activities . . . I do believe that Miele does a little bit more than Frattin does. Habitat for Humanity, working with the disabled, hanging out with underprivelaged kids compared to going to the rescue mission and doing something with Sioux Crew.

            Miele and Frattin’s grades are about the same but Miele has a major in American Studies and a coaching minor, while Frattin has a major in Parks and Rec.

            We’re talking about small degrees here but I think Miele has the edge off the ice even after throwing away the past. I think that Frattin is a superior player. I think that makes up the difference in off ice/academics. I’m not a voter, its subjective, and if Miele wins it is because he deserves it.

          • HRGuy


        • Suture1

          Elliott, I will give you a break….you seem like a decent guy. But, I have to ask you….do you HONESTLY see much of “western” hockey? As I have said on here before (as have others) there are so many of us that do not TRULY see hockey if it is not in our section of the country. The eastern jokers see Miele play and they say….dang, he is pretty good. The western jokers see Frattin adn they say…dang he is pretty good. But, how many of us can truly say we have seen enough of BOTH players through the year to make an educated decision? I live in Atlanta and due to my paying about $300/month in cable fees I have seen a number of eastern and CCHA games (which, BTW, many westerners see as being an “eastern” and have been lucky enough to see Miele play one or two times. Is this enough to make an educated decision? Probably not. I am a WCHA “fan” so I have watched Frattin much more often. In my opinion I have to go with Frattin. But, I say this with some trepidation since I have not seen Miele enough. Frattin has had a couple of flat games (for him anyway) so an eastern viewer may have seen this particular game and said to him/herself…..huh, I think Miele is better. Get my point? Anyway, what I see as being the difference between these two is what Frattin does for his team overall and his defensive play seems to be a notch above. But, again, this is based on limited information on Miele. I would have to think my comments must hold true for just about everyone on this website. Am I wrong? Ok, see you all at the FF. I will be in the suite in the corner…I’ll be the guy not feeling much pain yelling for no particular reason…:)

          • #1 Ranked Sioux

            I like your posts, Suture!…. You were a true supporter of Sioux hockey to buy club seats and fly up to Mpls/St.Paul for the FF. I received the obligatory email saying I was not selected for tickets from the Fighting Sioux Club, since my priority number was lower than others whom were in line above me. I’ve had season tickets for 5yrs and, i’m sure, others have had them longer than I.

            Glad you got your wish to come true….. I’ll be watching on t.v., I guess! ;-(

            You post comments that are descriptive and pretty accurate. I, too, agree with them. When you look only at the 2010-2011 season and see talent of each player, offensively and defensively, you’d have to see Frattin as a favorite. The number of games he plays in his schedule is so much more difficult than the schedule Miele or Atkinson have to play! PERIOD…..

            Take a scissors and slice up this season’s accomplishments and weigh it as a stand-alone comparison. Frattin’s plate just has more balanced weight.

          • I live on Ohio so I watch Miami a lot. I am from ND, so I watch UND every weekend. Miele is a beast, Frattin is better (maybe I’m biased). Miele has more assists, Frattin has more goals (obvious).

            Frattin supporters need to stop talking about how good Miele’s line is, because Frattin’s line is pretty darn good. Why doesn’t Frattin have more assists than Miele? Who really knows, maybe Miele is better at racking up assists . . .deal with it.

            I don’t think there is an issue at all with Frattin’s character this year.

            I still think Miele has a great shot and I will be more than happy for him if he wins. This is not an award handed to the best player in the NCAA. If the voters think that Miele best embodies the award I hope he gets it. I hope that either way people just shut up with their ignorant comments

        • Sioux Fan

          Hahaha thats funny that you mentioned that. We forgive you! An inter with him is or might be as bad as Interveiwing Oshie.. Who is taking a couple days off to regain his unparrallel skills in the NHL

        • WI SIoux Fan

          In all honesty, I was just trying to give you a little bit of a hrad time. I understand that everyone makes mistakes. Sorry if I came off a little harsh. I meant to put a smiley face at the end of my comment. I really do respect all of the work that the writers do on this website. is my first and favorite website to follow. :>

          • WoogLips4Ever

            Let’s all make up and live in gopher-hating brotherhood!

        • WI SIoux Fan

          I really do apologize about the harshness of my comments. I have let my previous experience with posters about East vs. West cloud my opinion. I usually only post what I believe but instead posted an attack and I was wrong to do so. Please forgive me Elliot. All three are great players and deserve the credit of being in the Hat Trick.

        • SiouxFan

          Hope you’re feeling better, Elliot.

      • Sara

        Not to go back in time here, but based on what I saw at the Frozen Four in 2008, Gerbe should have won the Hobey. He single handedly won BC the title that year. Yeah, and I hated Gerbe. But I’ll admit that. Best player that year, no doubt.

  • Elliot Olshansky

    This is why I don’t write when I’m sick. My apologies.

  • Jay

    Good lord, the Frattin fanboys are out in full force. Enough with the stupid east coast bias nonsense…it doesn’t exist. If you don’t think Cam Atkinson is as worthy as Connolly from UMD, you haven’t watched enough hockey.

    • UNDnursing

      Worthy? Sure. But the question is should he be there? Connolly had a great year and helped his team to the frozen four. He deserved it a little more IMO.
      Regardless, it will be Frattin or miele anyways.

    • Layne

      Great article and well said!,,,,,,,,,,,
      No bios let the college men be who they are n nothing else

    • The Hobey is not awarded based on your career, it’s based on the year. If the inverse were true, Atkinson walks away with it . . . unfortunately for him, myself and a lot of others don’t believe he deserves it.

      • Anonymous

        Cam won’t win, but he’s just as worthy a finalist as Connolly

        • Gueastaroni

          but he beats up little kids!

  • bdk

    Good for these 3 nominees, I’ll take the much bigger prize in a natty. GO DOGS!

  • Elliot may not see much Western hockey, I know I see very little Eastern hockey, so I would obviously have a huge WCHA bias were I to write a hockey article. It’s OK, and a mistake is just a mistake, which can be corrected. We all make them.

    The bigger issue is can USCHO afford to have writers submit pertinent articles from the “outerlands” of college hockey? Not sure if they can, unless they get some gratis work done along the way.

    Just geographically, Eastern hockey has a fairly small area in which to see most of the teams. Once you move West the square miles and weekend only play make it very difficult for one or two people to cover all the teams. It just is what it is for a niche sport, which college hockey is. The same problem exists on XM Home Ice. Their college program falls way short of proper coverage of the West, and by the time they do pick up a story from the West, it’s usually old news to those of us who follow it regularly.

    As for the Hobey voters, you just hope they have followed these players as best they can all season and will be honest in their assessments. Since everyone assumes the winner will be either Miele or Frattin, it’s not a potential Eastern bias, but how they perceive value that will matter most. If you put more value on goals or getting your team to the Frozen Four, you pick Frattin, if you put more value on points or PPG, or downgrade someone for past mistakes, you pick Miele. As long as each voter is comfortable with how they pick one player over the other, that’s good enough for me, though I may personally disagree with them. The reality is they are both great college players, and as far as I can discern, both great people off the ice this year.

    My hope is that Matt Frattin wins the Hobey, and North Dakota wins the NCAA Championship, but, I’m a Sioux alumnus and season ticket holder so I have that bias.

    Should be a great Frozen Four, Go Sioux!

    • Jdorf40

      Right on!

    • Anonymous


      No offense to your well written post. However, based on your documented bias towards UND, you forget the qualifications to win the Hobey Baker Award.

      Here they are:
      1. Candidates must exhibit strength of character both on and off the ice.

      2. Candidates must contribute to the integrity of the team and display outstanding skills in all phases of the game.

      3. Consideration should be given to scholastic achievement and sportmanship.

      4. Candidates must comply with all NCAA rules: be full time students in an accredited NCAA college or university; and complete 50% or more of the season.

      Matt Frattin does not qualify on number 1. He could be questioned on #2. #3 i am not sure, and #4 he must qualify.

      The way I see it, and this is not a UND bash! Frattin should not even be in the Top 10. He has earned the right not to be considered.

      If he had character, he would remove himself from the Top 3.

      • Lefty

        1. What did Frattin do this year that took away from his character?
        2. What part of the game is Frattin not outstanding? When did he stop contributing to the integrity of team?

        If you want to look at past mistakes, that’s your perrogative. But it’s a “this year” award.

        Like I said before, Frattin most likely won’t win it. Miele had a heckuva year.

      • Guest

        Let me guess, you think Atkinson qualifies under this criteria though? In my opinion being charged with 3rd degree assault on a minor doesn’t exhibit much strength off the ice. Atkinson is without question the joke of the Hobey Hat trick.

        • Anonymous

          No! Did you read what I said. No one with a record should be in the Top 10.

      • Jdorf40

        If Frattin hadn’t met the criteria you just posted, he wouldn’t be in the final 3. Since he has you can move onto something that carries some weight.

  • Gs

    Matt Frattin had a problem with alcohol, worked very hard at rectifying his life, paid his own money to come back to school when he could have gone pro and proceeded to be a leader and great hockey player on a team that has had great success in the face of difficult competition. He deserves the Hobey Baker Award without people whining about his character. In my eyes, he has shown his character by how he has handled his problems.

    • Anonymous

      Frattin has 9-6 for 15pts. in 17 games against teams in the NCAA Tourny.
      20% of his points are against Michigan Tech
      15% of his points are against Bemidji State

      Atkinson has 12-6 for 18pts in 11 games against teams in the NCAA Tourny.
      Very Consistent, but his overall numbers do get him over the top.

      Meile has 8-17 for 25pts. in 15 games against teams in the NCAA Tourny.
      Highest point total since 2002-03.

      Frattin has paid his dues, but let’s not make the mistake of saying he deserves it because he got his life back on track. That takes away from a kid like Meile, who has better stats, and has been a model of the ideal “Hobey Baker” candidate all through his College Experience.

      This isn’t the Heisman Trophy, this is the Hobey Baker!

      Meile, Atkinson, Frattin

      • FightingSioux4ever

        Frattin deserves it because he’s the best player in college hockey. Not trying to take away from Meile, but Frattin is a star on a talented and deep team. And so what if he’s feasted on weaker teams? UND beat the hell out of them both, and I don’t think its Frattin’s fault that the Sioux played them 4 times each the regular season. He does have 7 game winners on the season, most recently the double ot goal against Denver. He is the complete package.

      • Jdorf40

        If Frattin was on the same line as Miele, he’d probably have 50 goals. When a guy scores 24 goals and has double the assists, it’s not because he’s the next Gretzky. When it was elimination time, Miele was a -2 and absent on the score sheet. Yes, it’s only one game. But it’s also the most important game of the season. At least Atkinson made the score sheet in their loss. Put Miele on a line with Trupp and Malone. I’m confident he’s not scoring anywhere near 36 goals and it’s also a far fetch to think that he’s going to rack up 71 points in the WCHA. You simply can’t look at nothing but their stats and say one guy is way better than the other. Look at who’s buried the biscuit come clutch time. I hate Sidney Crosby, but I’d take him 10 out of 10 times over Ovechkin because he produces when it counts.

        • Anonymous

          No one had argued that Frattin is not a good goal scorer. Meile had the game winner the CCHA Playoff Championship.

          Who is calling Miele the next Gretzky?

          How do you know he wouldn’t have 71 points in the WCHA? He had 25 points in 15 games against the teams in the NCAA Tourny. Are you saying the WCHA is better than the Top 15 teams? Get over yourself and the WCHA.

          I cannot just look at the stats and say someone is better? You just did when referring to Miele’s performance against UNH.

          Your argument is based on the fact that this award goes to the best college hockey player. It isn’t that simple. The Award goes to the College Hockey Player who exemplifies the characteristics of Hobey Baker.

          And I say Frattin had earned the right not to win it.

          • Jdorf40

            Get over yourself? I don’t recall ever mentioning anything about myself. And actually, I agree that it doesn’t go to the best college hockey player. That’s obvious from years past. And fortunately for all of us, what you say doesn’t really matter so get over yourself.
            I don’t really care who wins the Hobey. I think it would be cool if Frattin did because it’d be pretty wild to have the Sioux go 4 for 4 on the year. I definitely think he’s deserving, but when the Sioux were knocked out a few years ago in St. Louis, Duncan winning the Hobey didn’t make it any less painful. They’re all worthy, and I won’t be surprised who wins it. But there’s an argument to be made for whoever doesn’t. That’s all I was trying to say.

        • HRGuy

          What are you talking about? Did you see the CCHA Championship? I doubt it as I’m sure in your eyes the CCHA don’t count. When it was elimination time, Miele took the game over in the 3rd period to take his team to the title. You people in the west think hockey only exists in the WCHA, open your eyes and quit being a homer.

      • HRGuy

        By the way, “i before e except after c” applys here….it is M I E L E.

        • Anonymous

          Sorry! Does it change the point I was trying to make? Or does the typing error take away from the credibility of the argument?

    • NCAA Puck Fan

      it reeks of siouage on this entire website….remember, there are two more games to go for whoever raises the banner in the fall…

    • He had no more of a problem with alcohol than almost any other college kid.

      • HRGuy

        I don’t see “any other college kid” getting arrested twice and getting kicked off the team. Least of all the other two finalist for the hobey.

        • any other college kid isn’t on a elite hockey team to get kicked off of. Its not like he would have been suspended from school or anything (unless it was BYU maybe). He got kicked off the team because if he wasn’t people would have been in an uproar about how Sioux hockey players get away with whatever they want.

          . . . I’m guessing you never drank and got a little rowdy in your life. I’m also guessing that you never had 2-3 drinks and than drove a vehicle and DIDN’T get a DUI.

          Now TJ Oshie . . . definately threw away his Hobey chances because he was getting caught during the season (if I remember correctly). There is a pattern here. We live in ND, we need to drink . . . there is no other way around it. Hell Captain Serious has a picture of him doing a beer bong and he got a minor (at the bar commodore brought the cup to mind you).

    • HRGuy

      Why should a kid get more preference for the hobey after it took him 2 arrests and getting kicked off the team before he “figured it out” over a kid who has never been in trouble a day in his life and has turned down 2 free agent offers the last two years to turn pro so he return to his team and help his teamates win a national champonship? I applaud Frattin for turning his life around but Miele gets the nod over Frattin hands down…..

  • Lefty

    That’s what I don’t get about the process. It’s hypocritical at best.

    People are saying that Cam Atkinson doesn’t deserve to be a finalist because you shouldn’t include his past achievements at BC. Yet, at the same time, they continually bring up Matt Frattin’s screw up’s from 2 years ago and hold it against him.

    It’s not a career award. It’s a “this year” award. I would like Frattin to win being a Sioux fan, but I believe and have seen Andy Miele on TV this year to know that he is uber-talented and will most likely win it this year. Eclipsing 70 points in college hockey now-a-days is a rare feat. The only thing holding him back potentially is what held Jack Connolly back IMO. His linemates are extremely good. So is it more Miele or his linemates

    We’ll find out next Friday.

    • TheRealLefty

      You are not the real Lefty. What Lefty would really be saying right now, among other things is that Atkinson had to go to classes. Frattin was busy at party pulls.

    • FrozenWild

      Let’s just fix the whole Atkinson and Frattin debacle off ice and toss both out of the running and add Connolly back in.

  • MiamiofOhioVice

    It would be wonderful if Miele won. Outside of him being a fantastic player, he is the one of the three who most embodies the best of the student athlete rising to the occasion not just on the ice butafter the tragedy at Miami. Oh, UND fans, please refrain from the usual comments

    • Sioux fan here, and I like Miele but I’m not sure if that is a comment I should be refraining from.

  • Karl Largen

    Frattin had something like .83 points per game against the top 7 teams in the WCHA. Connolly had something like 1.25 against the top 7 teams. Mike Connolly had 1.43. Just saying.

    I hope Meile gets this.

    • Jdorf40

      Good for them. I think they’re great players. But who actually buried the puck the most?

    • I think Connolly should have been a final three instead of Atkinson . . . but

      Keep in mind Connolly had a 5 goal game against UMD. If not for that game, he only had 4 goals and 28 assists against the WCHA period. Half of his goals game out of conference . . . and his +/- is 8 lower than Frattins.

      Connolly does a heck of a job passing the puck to a goal-scorer when playing tough teams. But you have a good argument in that Connolly records even less points against worse opponents

      In conference play Frattin has as many GWG as Connolly has goals outside the UMD game. You can play around with numbers all you want. Take out your bias and Frattin is better and everyone knows it. Just saying.

      I like Miele, won’t argue against him but I’m pulling for Frattin

  • Jdorf40

    Matt Frattin shoots. Matt Frattin scores. Thanks for playing.

  • DaGoalCoach

    don’t let the fact get in the way of a good story
    if my memory is correct Mike Mottau both played for Jerry York at Boston College and one the Hobey…. or do we just want to list the players that never one the award
    cause I have a long list of guys from every school that “DIDN”T” win it

  • joecct

    Wasn’t Chris Drury (or was it Brendan Morrison) a career award???

  • Hockey Fan

    Bottom Line….you are all idiots! You are arguing about something you have no control over. Whether or not someone deserves it is not a decision for you to make. If you don’t like the process, figure out a way to get onto the Hobey committee and change things instead of just sitting on a website and moaning about bias and assists versus goals. Truth be told I would be happy seeing any one of the ten win because they are all fantastic hockey players but that is not my decision and only one can win. So here is my advice, ready?

    Get a life and enjoy hockey for what it is! A great sport with a rich history!

    Elliot is a smart guy and his opinions are just that…opinions so lay off and relax…there is some great hockey ahead!