Despite six teams taking part in the inaugural season of Big Ten hockey, the same two continue to be honored weekly.
Minnesota and Michigan swept both conference opponents this week and the Big Ten Three Stars for the second straight week. Overall, the two teams, ranked first and third in this week's SB Nation Power Rankings, have done it four times in 8 weeks this season. Gophers forward Seth Ambroz (Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick) is joined for the week ending December 2 by Wolverines J.T. Compher (Buffalo Sabres) and Mac Bennett (Montreal Canadiens).
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.
Ambroz was named the First Star after leading the nation this weekend with four goals. The junior from New Prague, MN scored two goals in each game against Wisconsin, including both game-winning goals in a sweep of the Badgers. The last one gave Minnesota a 4-3 win with just 26 seconds left in regulation.
"I was a little surprised," Ambroz said about the goal. "There were just skating out and obviously the turnover happened so I just went straight to the net."
The junior currently leads the Gophers with 7 goals this season.
Compher, this week's Second Star, receives his first Big Ten weekly award with a 4 point (3 G - 1 A) weekend for Michigan, which swept Ohio State in a home-and-home series. The freshman forward recorded his first collegiate multi-goal game Monday against the Buckeyes when he scored twice in the second period.
Third Star Mac Bennett played a role in both of the Wolverines' winning goals. The Narragansett, Rhode Island native set up Andrew Copp on his overtime winner Friday in a 4-3 win. Bennett, a senior defenseman, then scored his first goal of the season with 1:35 left to break a 4-4 tie against the Buckeyes.
Our own Chris Dilks profiled Bennett's play Friday earlier today.
Minnesota travels to Michigan State this weekend for its first Big Ten road series. Michigan hosts the US Under-18 team for an exhibition game Thursday.
- Eye on the Future: Montreal Canadiens Prospect Mac Bennett, Michigan
- College Hockey Rankings: Minnesota Golden Gophers Fail to Falter
- Big Ten Hockey: Michigan recovers from blown 3 goal lead Monday to beat Ohio State
- Gophers Hockey: Seth Ambroz scores game winner (VIDEO)
- Big Ten Hockey: Minnesota defeats Wisconsin 4-3 on last minute Ambroz goal
Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation and College Hockey News. You can also follow him on Twitter -- Follow @gopherstate