By Nate Ewell
Brown is 4-1-2 since the start of December and won the Three Rivers Classic entering Tuesday's Mayor's Cup game against Providence. Senior co-captain Tommy Marchin (Algonac, Mich./Muskegon-USHL) has led the way; he has nine points in his last five games after posting just two in the season's first 10 contests. With skill and size (6-3, 200 pounds), Marchin will attract attention as an undrafted NHL free agent and could become the second pro hockey player in his family. His older sister, Taylor, is a Yale graduate who plays for the NWHL's Connecticut Whale.
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Five More Storylines No One Should be Without
Omaha's injury comeback – Omaha returns to NCHC play this weekend coming off back-to-back shutouts of Alaska Anchorage and led by one of the nation's top goal scorers in senior Mason Morelli (Minot, N.D./Fargo-USHL). Morelli, the team captain, is enjoying his best season after missing the second half last year with a serious knee injury that required extensive rehab. | Omaha.com: After missing much of junior season, Morelli back to captain UNO | Friday's game is the second in a NCHC doubleheader on CBSSN
Lekkas, Vermont surging – Vermont has only Hockey East games remaining and may be poised for a second-half surge given a recent 4-1-0 run and the fact that seven of nine losses have come by one goal. Junior Stefanos Lekkas (Elburn, Ill./Sioux Falls-USHL) gives the Catamounts a chance to beat anyone; he boasts a .935 save percentage that ranks third nationally despite facing more than 34 shots per game. He has three games with more than 40 saves this year, all wins for UVM. | Friday's game is on NESN and Eleven Sports
Legacy leads Minnesota – Minnesota has a lot of new blood in a first-year coaching staff and an eight-member freshman class, but a familiar name leads the Golden Gophers in scoring for the second year in a row: Rem Pitlick (Plymouth, Minn./Muskegon-USHL/NSH). The junior has points in 14 of 19 games and Minnesota is tied for third in the Big Ten entering a series at Notre Dame. Pitlick is a second generation Gopher – his father, Lance, played from 1986-90 before his NHL career and his mother, Lisa, was a two-time Big Ten champion gymnast for the Gophers. | Friday's game is on NBCSN
Army's powerful duo – Nine players have scored power-play goals for Army West Point's potent 28.4% power play that ranks third in the nation. Juniors Zach Evancho (Buffalo, N.Y./Buffalo-OJHL) and Dominic Franco (Portsmouth, R.I./Langley-BCHL) lead the team with five each entering this weekend's series at Air Force. That duo has nearly a foot between them – Evancho stands 5-8, while Franco is 6-5 – but they've proven to be a good 1-2 punch as wings on the Black Knights' top line and their dangerous power play.
UAH offense charged up – A first career two-goal game from Austin Beaulieu (Coral Springs, Fla./Wichita Falls-NAHL) put a fitting cap on the best offensive weekend of the year for Alabama Huntsville. The Chargers, who were averaging 1.15 goals per game, scored nine last weekend and head to Lake Superior State this weekend. Beaulieu played midget hockey locally with the TPH Thunder program before moving on to Wichita Falls in the NAHL.
NHL Note of the Week
Seven NCAA alumni have been named to NHL All-Star rosters, while six more are candidates to be added in the NHL's Last Men In vote. Each NHL division has at least one college player on its All-Star roster, led by the Pacific with three: Johnny Gaudreau (Boston College), Clayton Keller (Boston University) and Joe Pavelski (Wisconsin).
Fries at the Bottom of the Bag
Saturday is the busiest day of the Division I men's calendar in 2018-19, with 59 teams in action (Wisconsin plays an exhibition). Brown is the only team not playing … Minnesota's Tyler Sheehy (Burnsville, Minn./Youngstown-USHL) and Providence's Josh Wilkins (Raleigh, N.C./Sioux City-USHL) enter the weekend with 10-game point streaks, the longest active streaks and one game shy of the longest streak this year, from Penn State's Evan Barratt (Bristol, Pa./U.S. Under-18 Team-USHL/CHI) … Arizona State and Minnesota State, the nation's co-leaders in wins with 16, have each tied one game – Dec. 29 against each other … Boston University recruits Ethan Phillips (West) and Robert Mastrosimone (East) were the team MVPs in Tuesday's USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game.