Michigan State sophomore goalie Jake Hildebrand's performance outdoors at the Great Lakes Invitational (GLI) last weekend was enough to earn him the Big Ten first star.
Hildebrand is joined in the honor, the final one of 2013, by a pair of Ohio State forwards. Buckeyes junior Ryan Dzingel (Ottawa Senators draft pick) was named the second star while junior Nick Oddo earned the third star. OSU swept Mercyhurst at home by 6-3 and 7-2 scores.
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.
Hildebrand, who previously earned the second star December 10th for his performance against Minnesota, continued to be hot by making 70 of 72 saves this past weekend for Michigan State (6-9-2, 0-1-0-1 Big Ten). That includes 41 saves for the Spartans against Michigan Tech in a 2-2 tie (the Huskies won the shootout 2-1 to advance to the GLI final). Hildebrand also earned his first shutout of the season against Michigan in the third-place game.
Dzingel, meanwhile, leads the Big Ten with 23 points (10G-13A) in 16 games. He helped his cause this past weekend with 5 points (1G-4A) against the Lakers, including a goal and two assists in Sunday's win. Despite the point total, this is the Buckeye forward's first award of the year.
Oddo earned his second honor after being the Big Ten's first star on October 29. Like Dzingel, the junior forward had 5 points (1G-4A) versus Mercyhurst. He dished out three assists Saturday for the Buckeyes (10-6-0, 0-2-0-0 Big Ten), whose offensive output last weekend now sees OSU tied with Minnesota for the second-highest total offense in the nation (3.94 goals per game).
Five of the six B1G teams were in action last weekend.
Both Michigan State and Ohio State are off this weekend. The two teams are idle before facing one another at Columbus in Big Ten conference play.
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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