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By Lincoln Stars Staff, 10/05/21, 12:45PM CDT



LINCOLN, Neb. - Stars forward Mason Marcellus has announced his commitment to Quinnipiac University, an NCAA Division I program in the ECAC Hockey conference. 
Marcellus, 19, has appeared in three games this season for Lincoln after registering 22 points in 16 games with the Drayton Valley Thunder of the Alberta Junior Hockey League last year. He is expected to join the Bobcats in 2022-23. 
“When I went on my visit, I realized right away the program gets a lot of attention at the school,” Marcellus said. “The players I met had the same mindset of going pro afterward. Their facility is top-notch and they play a similar style of game that I like to play. They’re a big-time program and it’s a great fit for me.”
From his days at Rice Memorial Prep to now with Lincoln, the Greely, ON native has consistently placed an emphasis on being a responsible player.
“Mason is really sneaky with the way that he plays,” Stars head coach Rocky Russo said. “He’s a very talented passer with an elite hockey IQ and always seems to be around the puck. He generates offensive scoring chances and is responsible in transition. He’s been a great asset to us so far this season and his game is all upside now.”
This season, Marcellus’ value has stemmed from his can’t-quit attitude on 50/50 pucks and moving the puck north with speed.
“I’ve always been an undersized guy so it’s not like I’m going to rock someone and get the puck that way,” Marcellus said. “But I’m able to battle, get a stick lift in and find the open areas in the ice.”
Quinnipiac has qualified for the NCAA tournament six times in the last eight years, clinching a berth in the National Championship twice in that same timeframe (2013, 2016). The pedigree of the Bobcats program dates back to their transition to Division I in 1997.
“They’ve been a really good organization for a long time now and they’ve got a ton of guys that have played in the NHL that gave gone there,” Russo said. “Rand Pecknold is one of the most well-respected coaches in all of Division I hockey and they’ve got a great staff there. They’re always a team that’s going to be around at the end and challenging to get in the tournament. I think Mason found himself a great home athletically and academically and he’s going to do a great job there.”
From the pep band to the Teletubbies, the atmosphere at the 3,086-seat People’s United Center also helped sell Marcellus on attending the university.
“I heard the fans can get pretty rowdy there, which is awesome,” Marcellus said. “I’m starting to see here in Lincoln just how much fans can impact a game and create a hectic environment, so I’m really excited for this year and when I move onto Quinnipiac with the support they have.”
Now with Marcellus’ stress and anxiety eased with his scholarship, he’s able to place more emphasis on his own development in 2021-22 and beyond.
“I definitely think it’s a bit of a relief for some of these guys to find their school and be able to focus on playing hockey,” Russo continued. “Mason made a great choice with where he elected to go and now he can just focus on making his game better in preparation for eventually being there and being a part of their program.”
Marcellus has already taken note of the differences in the USHL from his last season in the AJHL, which should only accelerate his progression. 
“There’s more skill in this league,” Marcellus said. “There’s a reason why this league is the best junior league in the world. The depth between all four lines is something I’ve noticed right away. There isn’t a first line or a second line; everybody can be a first-line player and make an impact.”