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Big Ten Three Stars: Michigan and Minnesota freshmen honored before conference play begins

Michigan's Zach Nagelvoort and Tyler Motte were honored for their roles in the Wolverines' 6-0 win over Niagara along with Minnesota defenseman Michael Brodzinski.

Michigan freshman forward Tyler Motte was named the Big Ten Second Star for the week ending November 24
Michigan freshman forward Tyler Motte was named the Big Ten Second Star for the week ending November 24
Bruce Bennett

For the third time in seven weeks Michigan and Minnesota have swept the Big Ten Three Stars. This time, however, all three are first-year players.

Michigan freshmen Zach Nagelvoort and Tyler Motte (Chicago Blackhawks draft pick) were named the top two stars by the conference for the week ending November 24.

They were joined in the honor by Minnesota freshman defenseman Michael Brodzinski (San Jose Sharks).

The Big Ten began sponsoring hockey in 2013-14. In lieu of naming a player of the week, the conference is instead naming three stars.

Nagelvoort was named the First Star for his performance in the Wolverines' 6-0 win over Niagara. The freshman goaltender made 36 saves for his first career shutout in Michigan's only game last weekend. He currently leads the nation with a 1.48 goals against average in eight appearances and Nagelvoort is the first player to be honored by the Big Ten three times this season.

His teammate, Motte, earned his second Big Ten Three Stars award for a 3 point performance (1G-2A) against Niagara. The St. Clair, Michigan native and freshman forward scored just 34 seconds into the game and the Wolverines never looked back. Motte, who also was named the Second Star October 22, now has 7 points in 11 games for Michigan.

Brodzinski made the most of his first weekend since late October playing both games. The Ham Lake, Minnesota native, earning his first Big Ten honor, recorded a power play goal in each of Minnesota's two games against Minnesota-Duluth and added an assist in Friday's 6-1 win.

It was the first multi-point game for the freshman defenseman, whose brother Jonny plays for St. Cloud State and was a nominee for the NCHC's Offensive Player of the Week.

Only three Big Ten teams - Michigan, Michigan State and Minnesota - were in action last weekend. With Brodzinski earning the Third Star, the Gophers have had a player honored every week that they have played.

Both Minnesota and Michigan open Big Ten conference play next weekend. The Gophers host Wisconsin at Mariucci Arena on Friday and Saturday. Michigan, meanwhile, plays a rare Friday-Monday home-and-home series with Ohio State.

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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 --