Big Ten Three Stars: Wisconsin's Mersch named first star for second time this season

Michael Mersch (R) was named the Big Ten's first star for the second time this year - Richard T Gagnon - Getty Images

Badgers teammate Joel Rumpel and Penn State freshman David Goodwin join Mersch for the week ending February 24.

For the second time this season, the Big Ten's leading goal scorer is also the conference's weekly first star.

Wisconsin senior forward Michael Mersch (Los Angeles Kings draft pick) earned the honor, his third total, for the week ending February 24 after a four point performance (3G-1A) in a two-game home sweep of Michigan State. The Park Ridge, Illinois native scored all three goals on the power play. That includes two in Friday's 5-2 win over the Spartans.

Mersch now leads all Big Ten players with 19 goals on the season while the Badgers finish the season 17-2-1 at home.

Another Badger, junior goalie Joel Rumpel, and Penn State freshman David Goodwin round out the weekly three stars honor. 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.

Rumpel, who also has been named Big Ten first star twice, earns this week's second star. The Swift Current, Saskatchewan native leads the conference in most goaltending categories and earned his ninth career shutout in Wisconsin's 2-0 victory Saturday.

Goodwin, meanwhile, earned the third star with 3 points (2G-1A) in a two game series split against Michigan. Penn State defeated the Wolverines 5-4 in overtime Friday with Goodwin scoring  twice; including the overtime winner. It was the second time this season that the Nittany Lions, who sit in the bottom of the Big Ten standings with 7 points, won against Michigan.

Wisconsin is idle next weekend along with Michigan State. The Badgers, which trail Minnesota by one point in the Big Ten standings (the Badgers have two games in hand), finish the season with 4 road games beginning March 7-8 at Penn State. The Nittany Lions travel this week to Minnesota for the first time.

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

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