DURHAM, N.H. - Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) Steve Saviano (Reading, Mass.) and Justin Aikins (South Surrey, B.C.) each recorded three points with a goal and two assists to propel the third-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Saturday night's 6-3 Hockey East victory against No. 1-ranked University of Maine at the Whittemore Center.
UNH, which received a 35-save performance from goaltender Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass.), improved to 6-1-0 overall and 3-0-0 in Hockey East while Maine fell to 7-2-0, 2-2-0.
Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.) also had impressive offensive numbers for the 'Cats as he recorded three points with a pair of first-period goals and an assist on UNH's final tally of the night.
The Wildcats netted four second-period goals in a span of 7:41 to turn a 3-2 deficit into a 6-3 advantage. Nathan Martz (Chilliwack, B.C.) began the flurry at 11:41 when his shot from the high slot trickled between the legs of Maine goaltender Frank Doyle into the net. Saviano gave the 'Cats their first lead of the night, 4-3, on a individual effort in which he skated into the zone to the right circle, looped back to the high slot and wristed a shot past Doyle, providing UNH with the game-winning goal.
Collins extended the lead to 5-3 at 16:08, then Aikins pushed the advantage to three goals with 38 seconds remaining in the second period.
Maine, which recorded a 38-25 shot advantage, had a 5-on-3 power-play advantage late in the third period but failed to cut into its three-goal deficit.
UM goalie Frank Doyle finished with 19 saves.
The Black Bears quickly built a 3-1 lead as the teams combined for four goals in the opening 4:24 of the game. Derek Damon, with the assistance of Greg Moore and Todd Jackson, gave Maine a 1-0 lead at 30 seconds on a shot from the right doorstep.
UNH tied the game, 1-1, at 3:22 when a slap shot by Yandle from the left point traveled through traffic in front and into the net. Martz and Saviano were credited with assists.
Maine regained the lead, 2-1, just 15 seconds later, however, as Dustin Penner slipped behind the Wildcat defense and fired a shot high into the net from close range. John Ronan, with the help of Luciano Aquino and Matthew Deschamps, extended the visitor's lead to 3-1 at 4:24.
Yandle trimmed the deficit to 3-2 at 11:54 when his shot from the right point went through a screen and into the upper-right corner. Collins and Martz set up the goal.
UNH returns to action Nov. 12 against Boston College. Game time at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester (N.H.) is 7 p.m.