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Eichel's Beanpot delayed; McDavid still streaking

by Mike G. Morreale / NHL.com

Boston University freshman Jack Eichel will be forced to wait for his first and possibly only opportunity at winning a Beanpot Tournament championship. Inclement weather has postponed the championship game against Northeastern for two weeks.

The championship and consolation games, scheduled for Tuesday, now will be played Feb. 23 at TD Garden in Boston. Boston University will play Northeastern in the tournament final at 7:30 p.m. ET. The consolation game between Boston College and Harvard will be played at 4:30 p.m. ET.

Eichel, No. 2 on NHL Central Scouting's midterm ranking of the top North American skaters eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft, could jump to the NHL next season, making this his only chance to play in the most recognizable in-season NCAA college hockey tournament.

EICHEL VS MCDAVID

EICHEL MCDAVID
Week (2 games) Week  (2 games)
0 g, 3 a, 3 pts 1 g, 3 a, 4 pts
Season stats (25 games) Season stats (30 games)
15 g, 28 a, 43 pts (1.72 PPG) 25 g, 51 a, 76 pts (2.53 PPG)

Eichel keyed the victory by the Terriers in the semifinals Feb. 3 when he forced a turnover that led to the game-winning goal by Daniel O'Regan (San Jose Sharks) 2:18 into the second overtime in a 4-3 victory against Harvard.

NHL Network analyst Craig Button said Eichel's play in recent weeks has confirmed, at least in his mind, that whichever team is selecting No. 1 at the 2015 draft will have a tough time picking between Eichel and center Connor McDavid of the Erie Otters of the Ontario Hockey League.

"Jack had a heck of a game; Harvard is a good team," Button said. "I watched Jack Eichel play every shift and every time he's doing something to impact the game, from a faceoff to a back check. On the winning goal he forces a turnover by his ability to hound the guy with the puck.

"Jack, to me, was dangerous throughout. His hands, feet and mind, that quickness, make him a brilliant player. If I was picking first, I don't think it's a slam dunk and I don't know which one I would take."

It marked the second time this season that Harvard held Eichel without a point, but the 6-foot-2, 196-pound right-shot center did generate 10 shots on goal, including six in the overtimes, and won 25 of 39 faceoffs.

"Jack had plenty of chances so it wasn't like he was standing next to me on the bench," Boston University coach David Quinn said. "Give Harvard a lot of credit. They did a great job nullifying him on certain shifts and being physical with him."

McDavid continues to thrive for Erie, which trails the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds by three points for first place in the OHL Western Conference. He had one goal and four points in two games last week and is on a 15-game point streak, during which he has 11 goals and 34 points.

The top-ranked player on Central Scouting's midterm list of the top North American skaters, McDavid has 25 goals and 76 points in 30 games this season. The 6-1, 195-pound left-shot center has 78 goals and 241 points in 149 career games spanning three seasons in the OHL.

His goal in a 4-2 victory against the London Knights at Erie Insurance Arena on Saturday was a thing of beauty; he gathered the puck in his end, skated down the wing, cut through the defense and backhanded a shot home just three minutes into the game.

The Otters will be running a Connor McDavid bobblehead night promotion Wednesday when the Otters host the Guelph Storm. The first 500 children age 12 and under will get a bobblehead. Additional bobbleheads will be made available to the general public on Friday.

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