EAST LANSING -- Michigan State junior forward Taro Hirose was named both the NCAA and Big Ten First Star of the Week, it was announced Tuesday by the respective organizations. Hirose had three points in both games of a sweep of No. 8 Cornell last weekend.
In the 5-2 series opening victory, Hirose helped set up the Spartans' second period go-ahead goal and then scored what proved to be the game-winner, unassisted. He later added an assist on the Spartans' power-play goal to cap MSU's run of four consecutive goals in the third period.
On Saturday, Hirose assisted on Patrick Khodorenko's game-tying goal midway through the second period, and then set up Mitchell Lewandowski to extend MSU's lead to 3-1 later in the period. For the second straight night, the native of Calgary, Alberta, scored the game-winning goal, with Saturday's coming 48 seconds into the third period.
Hirose has goals and points in all four games this season (4g, 5a). His 2.25 point per game average is the most among any player in the nation that has played more than one game.
It is the first NCAA and Big Ten weekly honor for Hirose. He is the first Spartan to earn an NCAA Star of the Week honors since Mitchell Lewandowski was named the third star on Nov. 21, 2017.
The Spartans (3-1) take on Ferris State (3-3) in a home-and-home series this weekend with Friday night's game at Munn Ice Arena set for 7 p.m.
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