BOSTON -- Once again Jack Eichel showed that there are few teams that can stop him when he turns on the afterburners. The freshman sensation's end-to-end rush in overtime gave Boston University a come from behind 3-2 victory over the University of Maine on Friday night in front of 5,291 at Agganis Arena.
The Terriers enjoyed a five-minute power play for the bulk of the overtime after Maine's Connor Leen was ejected for hitting from behind just 16 seconds into the extra session. After a few shifts with little to no activity Eichel stepped back on the ice and took over. He picked the puck up in his own zone and burst up the left side before taking a snap shot from the top of the circle that cleanly beat Maine freshman goaltender Sean Romeo on the far side. The goal, with 2:20 left on the clock, completed another third period comeback victory for the Terriers.
BU erased a 2-0 deficit after 40 minutes with two strikes a little under five minutes apart in the third period. The top line got the ball rolling at the 4:50 mark on a beautiful passing sequence. Danny O'Regan gained the blue line and slid the puck down to Eichel who waited to draw a Maine defender. He then slid the puck over to Ahti Oksanen who one-timed it past Romeo.
The Terriers tied the game with 10:57 left in regulation when the third line chimed in. Freshman A.J. Greer won a battle in back of the net and skated towards the corner with the puck. He quickly zipped the puck out to Nick Roberto at the circle who fed it down low to Matt Lane for the stuff in goal.
Maine had jumped out to a 2-0 lead as the Black Bears capitalized on sluggish play by the Terriers out of the gate. At the 7:27 mark of the first period freshman Liam Pecararo brought the puck into the zone down the right side before shoveling it on net. After Cam Brown took a swipe at the puck it squirted loose to Ben Hutton who spun around and wristed a shot far side past BU goaltender Matt O'Connor.
Leen gave the Black Bears a 2-0 lead just 56 seconds into the second period when he took advantage of a forward playing defense. After picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone he squirmed around Evan Rodrigues and then went wide on another BU defender before sweeping the puck into the net as he was falling down.
It was a tough luck loss for a Maine team that can't seem to get anything going, but if there is one positive for the Black Bears it is the continued strong play of Romeo, who struggled in his first two career appearances. He's played fairly well over his last four outings including these past two games against BU. The Cary, NC native made 33 saves on the night including 13 on BU's vaunted top line.
Maine (3-8-1) heads down Commonwealth Ave. for a battle against Boston College tomorrow evening while BU (7-1-1) faces an even quicker turnaround with a matinee game at Connecticut.
Jeff Cox covers college, junior and high school hockey, NCAA recruiting and NHL Draft prospects. Follow him on Twitter @JeffCoxSports.