Wisconsin forward Nic Kerdiles (Anaheim Ducks draft pick), Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand and Minnesota forward Justin Kloos have been named Big Ten Three Stars for the week ending December 10.
Kloos, the Third Star on October 22nd, picks up his second weekly honor. For Kerdiles and Hildebrand, it's the first time either have been honored and in the case of Hildebrand, he's the first Spartans player to ever be named one of the weekly Three Stars.
The Big Ten began sponsoring men's hockey in 2013-14. In lieu of naming a player of the week, the conference is instead naming three stars.
Kerdiles, named First Star, caps off a week in which he was named to Team USA's World Juniors team with four points (2G-2A) in two wins over Penn State. That includes the sophomore scoring the go-ahead goal in a 4-3 win Saturday after the Nittany Lions had tied the game earlier in the third period. The Irvine, California native is tied for the Badgers scoring lead with 14 points (7G-7A) and Kerdiles has recorded a goal in each of his last three games.
Hildebrand earns the Second Star after a weekend series against Minnesota in which the sophomore goaltender made 79 saves against the nation's second-highest team offense. His season-high 44 saves Friday helped steal a point in a 2-2 tie versus the top team in the country. Three consecutive saves in the shootout took another from the Gophers.
Kloos, this week's Third Star, leads all Big Ten freshmen in points with 17 (6G-11A) after tallying three points (1G-2A) in two games against Michigan State. He had a role in both Minnesota goals Friday, which was the Lakeville, MN native's fifth multi-point game already.
With Kloos being named this week, Minnesota pushes its streak of at least one Gopher named to eight.
This past week four of the six Big Ten teams were in action. Ohio State and Michigan, who played an exhibition game Thursday, were idle.
Wisconsin hosts Colorado College this weekend for a pair of games. Michigan State faces Ferris State at home while Minnesota is idle until the Mariucci Classic January 3-4.
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Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation and College Hockey News. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate