Big Ten Three Stars: Pair of Gophers top the awards

Second Star, Second Effort - Matt Christians - SB Nation

Minnesota goalie Adam Wilcox and forward Hudson Fasching earned the top 2 stars for the week ending February 17. The pair are joined by a familiar name in the Big Ten - Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand.

A week after not having a player named for the first time ever, Minnesota made a big return to the Big Ten Three Stars after sweeping Michigan.

Gophers goaltender Adam Wilcox (Tampa Bay Lightning draft pick) and freshman forward Hudson Fasching (Los Angeles Kings) were named the top 2 stars for the week ending February 17.  The duo are joined by Michigan State goaltender Jake Hildebrand.

The Big Ten began sponsoring men's hockey in 2013-14. In lieu of naming a player and/or goaltender of the week, the conference is instead naming three stars regardless of position.

Wilcox earned his fourth weekly honor - all of which have happened in the last six weeks - and first 1st star for his performance in Minnesota's 5-3 and 4-1 wins against the Wolverines. The sophomore from South St. Paul, MN made 35 saves Friday before stopping 28 consecutive shots Saturday after letting in the first one he saw.

Wilcox, who has only allowed more than 2 goals once in 12 Big Ten conference games, currently has a .931 save percentage.

Fasching, the second star, was the only Gophers player to score multiple goals.He had two goals, one each night, in addition to an assist Saturday. The Burnsville, MN native helped Minnesota rebound from just two goals last weekend in a pair of losses to Wisconsin to scoring nine against Michigan. The Gophers currently lead the Big Ten by 7 points over the Badgers and 12 points over Michigan (although the Wolverines have a pair of games in hand).

Hildebrand, this week's Third Star, claims his fourth Big Ten Three Stars award. The Butler, PA native had a .946 save percentage in a tie and road win against Penn State and stopped all 7 shots in the Spartans' shootout win Friday to take the extra league point. He also made 28 saves Saturday against a Nittany Lions team that peppered Michigan State with shots before MSU won with a late Matt Berry goal.

Minnesota is off next week before hosting Penn State. Michigan State, meanwhile, travels to Wisconsin.

--

Nathan Wells is a college hockey columnist for SB Nation. You can also follow him on Twitter --

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