Here are the three Gopher players who shined during the College Hockey Showcase:
Third Star(s): Nick Larson and Taylor Matson
Both Larson and Matson provided great effort in both games of the showcase, and both Larson and Matson scored huge goals. Matson's goal brought the Gophers to within one goal of Michigan State at 3-2, and Nick Larson put the Gophers up 2-0 in the game against Michigan. Their effort and goal-scoring nab Larson and Matson the No. 3 stars of the weekend.
Second Star: Erik Haula
Haula was instrumental in the 3-1 Michigan victory, getting many scoring opportunities of his own while providing many more opportunities for others. Haula scored the biggest goal of the game—the separation goal that made the game 3-1 right after Michigan had scored to narrow the Gopher lead to one. Haula's offensive output nets him the No. 2 star.
First Star: Alex Kangas
Kangas allowed three goals on the weekend in five-and-a-half periods of action, and a case could be made that none of those goals were his fault. Kangas made the stops that he needed to make and kept the Gophers in both games on the weekend, including a big shorthanded breakaway stop against Michigan in the third period.
The Gophers need Alex Kangas to be as good as he can be, and hopefully this weekend will springboard Kangas back to the level of play that we're used to out of him. A Kangas-Patterson rotation should be solid for the Gophers down the stretch. Kangas' solid, steady play gets him the weekend's No. 1 star.
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