In an ongoing series of articles, the Jack Eichel Tracker will monitor Eichel’s performance and development in his freshman season at Boston University. As a BU student, I will have the unique opportunity to watch him in person often throughout the year. Posts are done weekly or bi-weekly, depending upon BU’s schedule.
Jack Eichel Tracker: Money in Overtime
After splitting a series of games with BC & Lowell, the Terriers headed north to Burlington, Vermont to take on the #12 Catamounts. BU would not be facing the Vermont team they’re used to, as they now boast their best team in years with a stout defense allowing just 1.78 goals per game.
The Terriers got off to a rare strong start on Friday, finding themselves up 2-0 after two periods, outshooting Vermont 27-19. The Catamounts were able to put a scare into the Terriers, making it a 3-2 game with four minutes left in the third.
However, an Eichel empty net goal was able to seal the victory for BU, and ensure at least a split on the weekend.
Looking to distance themselves further at the top of Hockey East, BU would need to provide a top notch effort because Vermont was facing a possible sweep at home. The game was a traditional defensive battle, exactly the type of game Vermont desired and the Terriers wanted to avoid.
Through 55 minutes, Vermont was up 1-0 and Mike Santaguida looked like a brick wall in net. Other than the Eichel line, BU struggled to generate much consistent offensive pressure against a tough Vermont defense.
Eichel (5 shots) and his linemates Rodrigues & O’Regan (11 shots) were dangerous throughout, and it seemed to be a matter of time before they cashed in.
BU finally got a break with less than three minutes remaining in the third. A neutral zone turnover by Vermont off of a faceoff sent Evan Rodrigues in one-on-one with Santaguida, and he snapped a quick shot to the glove side to tie it at 1-1.
The game would go to overtime, and there Evan Rodrigues found himself in the offensive zone, skating towards the blueline with the puck. He fired a quick turnaround shot towards the net, hoping for a deflection. In front, Eichel was able to get a piece of the puck with his stick dangerously near the no-goal zone of the crossbar.
The shot that was destined for high blocker ended up going high glove after the deflection over a clueless Santaguida to give BU the OT victory. It was a truly remarkable deflection that was reviewed for some time by officials, but was deemed a good goal.
The overtime winner gave Eichel two goals on the weekend, and put him in a class by himself in terms of clutch play in overtime.
Jack Eichel is the first Terrier since the formation of Hockey East to have three overtime goals in one season. #ProudtoBU
— BU Men's Hockey (@TerrierHockey) January 25, 2015
The Terriers now hold a four point lead atop Hockey East. Eichel fell to second in the NCAA in scoring behind Daniel Ciampini of Union. However, he is just one point behind with two games at hand, putting him in good shape moving forward.
The Terriers will likely remain #3 in the country this week, with an outside shot to move up to #2. North Dakota won both games this weekend, and Minnesota State beat Minnesota before falling to Bemidji State.
Up Next on the Jack Eichel Tracker: The Terriers will host the lowly UMass Amherst Minutemen for one game next weekend. The last time Eichel played the Minutemen, he had 2 goals and 2 assists.
Previous Editions of the Jack Eichel Tracker:
Part I: A Dazzling Debut (5 Assists vs. St. Thomas)
Part II: Matching McDavid (2 Goals, 2 Assists vs. UMass Amherst)
Part V: Head to Head with Hanifin (1 Goal, 3 Assists vs. BC & UConn)
Part VI: Manhandling Maine (2 Goals, 4 Assists vs. UConn & Maine [2 games])
Part VIII: Gearing Up for the WJC (2 Assists vs. RPI)
Part IX: Back On Top (2 Goals, 2 Assists vs. Wisconsin [2 games])
Part X: Power Play Maven (1 Goal, 2 Assists vs. BC & UMass Lowell)