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ROSEMONT, Ill. – Sophomore Denis Smirnov (Moscow, Russia) was named the Big Ten Conference Second Star of the Week as announced by the league office Tuesday morning after his performances during a weekend sweep over Robert Morris.
Smirnov registered five points in the two games this past week, which led the entire Big Ten and tied for second in the nation. His three goals also tied for the national lead and he added a pair of assists.
He was also named the NCAA Hockey First Star of the Week for his efforts.
The second-year left-wing scored a power-play goal during a 5-2 victory over Bobby Mo on Friday night before tying his career-high with a four-point outburst in a 7-4 win Saturday night as he scored twice while adding a pair of assists.
The two goals on Saturday night marked his first multi-goal game of the season after having four during the 2016-17 campaign. Smirnov has now registered 18 career multi-point games and has nine games with three points or more in his career.
After missing eight games with an illness, Smirnov has returned to the lineup for four games and has scored four goals while adding two assists for six points as he is currently riding a three-game goal-streak, which is just one game shy of tying his career-high.
With his four-point weekend the sophomore has also jumped into ninth on the Penn State all-time points list and eighth on the all-time goals list with 64 and 28, respectively. His 36 assists also now tie him with Vince Pedrie for tenth in program history.
Having played 51 games in his career, Smirnov is averaging 1.25 points per game, which is also a Penn State record as he is the only player in program history to have better than a point per game average. Junior Andrew Sturtz (Buffalo, N.Y.) is averaging 0.97 points per game in 93 career games played.
Two of Smirnov’s three goals over the weekend were with the man-advantage giving him seven career power-play tallies to rank seventh all-time at Penn State.
Smirnov earns his second weekly honor this season after he was also the Second Star back on October 17 and the sixth of his career. Sturtz and sophomore Brandon Biro (Sherwood Park, Alb.) have also earned Big Ten weekly accolades so far this season.
Penn State has a little less than four weeks off before returning to action as they host the 13th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers on January 5-6, 2018.
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