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All the qualities that make up Oliver Moore were on display last weekend when the Gophers men's hockey team faced Big Ten-leading Michigan State in East Lansing.

Moore's blazing speed, tenacity, sharp shooting and deft passing combined to fuel a three-goal, one-assist weekend for the center, who was named Big Ten Second Star of the Week.

On the flip side, Moore's youth — the freshman turned 19 less than two weeks ago — was front and center, too. His third-period turnover Friday led to Michigan State's tying goal, and the Spartans won 3-2 on another goal with 4 seconds left.

In the end, though, Moore's resilience was the trump card as he scored two goals, assisted on another and personified the effort the Gophers needed in a 5-1 victory Saturday.

"There's the bounce-back of a young man taking ownership in his team and his teammates," Gophers coach Bob Motzko said. "I can't say enough about how hard he works and the effort he puts in, the skill level. As he gets older, the game is going to slow down, and the more it slows down for him, better things are going to continue to happen."

The signs point to Moore accelerating that learning curve. Since returning from helping Team USA win the gold medal at the World Junior championship, Moore, a first-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2023, has four goals and nine assists in the past eight games.

And he's doing so while playing on the Gophers' top line, centering Jimmy Snuggerud and Rhett Pitlick. Moore ranks second on the team with 19 assists and fourth with 25 points. Pitlick (15 goals, 14 assists) leads the team in scoring with 29 points, one ahead of Snuggerud (18-10-28).

"It's going really well,'' said Moore, who along with freshman defenseman Sam Rinzel was named to the watch list of the Tim Taylor Award, given to the top rookie in college hockey. "Our team is starting to build here in the second half. We're gaining confidence as a team, and we're all in."

The Gophers will be put to the test on Friday and Saturday at Wisconsin, where the resurgent Badgers (20-5-1) are in second place in the Big Ten and own an October sweep of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

"We're in crunch time now," Motzko said. "This is a great time of year."

Moore is used to such situations. A former Totino-Grace standout from Mounds View, Moore spent his junior and senior seasons with the U.S. National Team Development Program in Plymouth, Mich. In that highly competitive atmosphere, he amassed 31 goals and 44 assists in 61 games for the U.S. Under-18 team last season. That led to the Blackhawks selecting him at No. 19 overall in the draft.

When star freshman Logan Cooley chose to forgo his final three seasons of eligibility with the Gophers and sign with the Arizona Coyotes last summer, Minnesota had a spot open at center on its top line. Moore seized that role, and with it came comparisons to the No. 3 overall pick in the 2022 NHL draft.

"Logan Cooley is obviously a great player, and he's a different player than I am," Moore said. "… I don't think I've had to meet any [outside] expectations because I have personal expectations that I hold myself to."

That approach impresses his teammates and his coaches.

"When you're young, you come in with all these expectations," senior forward Mason Nevers said. "You can fall into caring about what other people think. He's really bought-in, and he's just getting more mature every weekend."

Added Motzko: "Let's say he didn't get drafted. I don't think he'd be any different. … He's highly driven, highly motivated."

As the Gophers enter the home stretch to the regular season with four Big Ten series over the next five weeks, they're looking to hone their game into tournament form. Moore is eager to learn and grow.

"You don't want to put your team in that position with that turnover," he said of the Michigan State opener. "But it's all about how you bounce back, and our team did a great job of doing that."