Gophers’ McLaughlin, McManus earn weekly Big Ten hockey honors

The University of Minnesota men's hockey team improved to 13-3 on the season after a weekend sweep of Arizona State. ((credit: University of Minnesota Athletics))

After putting up 20 goals in a weekend sweep of Arizona State, the University of Minnesota men’s hockey team had a pair of players honored by the Big Ten Conference on Tuesday.

Blake McLaughlin was named the Big Ten’s First Star of the Week after collecting seven points over the two victories. The Gophers beat the Sun Devils 10-0 last Thursday night, then followed it up with a 10-2 win on Friday.

McLaughlin had four goals and three assists over the two games, which led the Big Ten. His four goals also tied for the NCAA lead. He had two goals and two assists for a career-high four points in Thursday’s win, before added two more goals and another assist on Friday. The Gophers are 6-0 this season when McLaughlin is on the score sheet.

Brannon McManus was named the Big Ten’s Second Star of the Week after recording six points in the sweep. He tied with McLaughlin for the NCAA lead with four goals in the series. He notched his second career hat trick in Thursday’s 10-0 win. It was also Minnesota’s first natural hat trick since 2014.

McManus added a goal and an assist in Friday’s 10-2 victory. The Gophers are 9-0 this season when McManus is on the score sheet.

Minnesota improved to 13-3 on the season, and 9-3 in Big Ten play after the sweep. The Gophers led the Big Ten at 27 points through 12 games, four points ahead of Michigan and five points clear of Wisconsin. The Gophers remained No. 4 in the Pairwise Rankings after falling out of the No. 1 spot last week.

The Gophers travel to Ohio State Friday and Saturday. They swept the Buckeyes 4-1 and 2-0 at home back in November.