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Terriers' Eichel passes first test against rival Eagles

by Mike G. Morreale

The Battle For Commonwealth Avenue was everything Boston University freshman Jack Eichel expected.

EICHEL VS MCDAVID

EICHEL MCDAVID
Week (2 games) Week  (3 games)
1 g, 3 a, 4 pts 1 g, 6 a, 7 pts
Season stats (7 games) Season stats (17 games)
5 g, 8 a, 13 pts 15 g, 34 a, 49 pts

An announced sellout of 7,884 fans packed Conte Forum on the campus on Boston College on Friday for the nationally televised game between two of the biggest hockey rivals in the nation. In the end, Boston University overcame three one-goal deficits to rally to a 5-3 victory.

Eichel, an A-rated skater on NHL Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list, scored once, generated five of BU's 26 shots and finished with a plus-3 rating. His goal 12:15 into the third period pulled Boston University into a 3-3 tie. On the game-tying goal, Eichel won a draw in the offensive zone back to fellow freshman Brandon Fortunato at the point and skated towards the slot. Fortunato fed across to freshman Brandon Hickey, who took a shot that Eichel deftly deflected past Boston College goalie Thatcher Demko (Vancouver Canucks). It was Eichel's fifth goal in six games.

Boston College coach Jerry York called Eichel a terrific player while recognizing his size, speed and playmaking ability, according to Connor Mellas of BCHeights.com.

Eichel extended his point streak to seven games to open the season for Boston University (5-1-1) when he dished three assists in a 4-4 tie with the University of Connecticut on Saturday. The 6-foot-2, 196-pound center leads the Terriers in assists (eight), points (13), shots on goal (39) and plus-minus rating (plus-13), and is tied for the team lead with five goals.

The Terriers will next play the University of Maine on Friday.

Erie Otters center Connor McDavid, the other potential top-two pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, had his 14-game point streak end on Nov. 6 in a 5-2 loss to the Niagara IceDogs. In the next two games, he had one goal and seven points in victories against the Sarnia Sting and Saginaw Spirit.

McDavid (6-1, 195), also an A-rated skated on Central Scouting's preliminary players to watch list, has 15 goals, 49 points and a plus-33 rating in 17 games for Erie (15-1-1). Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby had 12 goals, 38 points and a plus-11 rating in his first 17 games with the Rimouski Oceanic during his draft season.

He has 68 goals, 214 points and a plus-56 rating in 136 career games in the Ontario Hockey League.

The Otters will host Mississauga on Tuesday before visiting Niagara on Friday.

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