Jack Eichel Wins USA Group B With OT Goal


Just a few minutes after it was announced Connor McDavid was named the OHL’s top player, Jack Eichel just had to go and claim the spotlight. The Boston University forward helped bring USA a win over Slovakia in dramatic fashion, scoring the game winning goal in overtime.

The win sealed the top seed out of Group B for the Americans. There were just five seconds left in overtime when his wrist shot brought home the victory. Now the team will play Switzerland in the quarterfinals on Thursday afternoon.

Eichel, the more than likely second overall selection to the Buffalo Sabres in the upcoming draft, is the youngest player with the Americans in Prague.

“It’s been awesome building relationships with guys in the room,” Eichel said in a USA Today article last week. “Just being around NHL players, you learn so much.”

Eichel is the first draft eligible player to play with team USA at the IIHF tournament in nearly two decades. The last was Phil Housley. The team has four college players overall, along with Detroit Red Wings prospect Dylan Larkin (Michigan forward), Yale goaltender Alex Lyon, Minnesota defenseman Mike Reilly, a prospect of the Columbus Blue Jackets, and lastly Jimmy Vesey of Harvard, who led the NCAA in scoring this past season.

The former Terrier scored his first goal of the tournament on Sunday when he helped lead the Americans to a 3-1 victory over Slovenia. He deflected a shot from New York Islanders center Brock Nelson to pick up the third period goal. The forward now has six points in seven games.

His second goal of the tournament was much more exciting after USA had a scare with the Slovaks coming back to force overtime.

Eichel has displayed the ability to step up in big games, being an important part of the Hockey East championship and Beanpot victories, along with wins in the playoffs before the Terriers advanced to the Frozen Four championships and lost to the Providence Friars.

Slovakia scored four goals to the USA’s two in the second period which tied the game at four after a 2-0 first period for the Americans. After a scoreless third period, USA and Slovakia didn’t score again until Eichel’s goal in overtime.

Slovakia is eliminated from the tournament while the USA advances as the top seed from the Group.

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