DURHAM, N.H. - Kevin Regan (South Boston, Mass.) was stellar in net with a 31-save effort to lead the 12th-ranked University of New Hampshire men's hockey team to Saturday night's 4-2 Hockey East victory against fourth-ranked University of Maine at the Whittemore Center.
UNH won its fourth consecutive game - all in league play -- to improve to 6-3-1 overall and 5-1-0 in Hockey East. Maine is 9-3-0, 4-2-0.
With the score tied 2-2 at the start of the second period, Jacob Micflikier (Winnipeg, Manitoba; goal, assist) scored a power-play goal with 47 seconds elapsed to give the 'Cats a 3-2 lead. Brett Hemingway (Surrey, B.C.; three assists) gathered a rebound at the left post off a Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.) shot and passed the puck across the top of crease to Micflikier, who scored short side.
"They (the first line) don't care who scores the goal, they move the puck extremely well and they compliment each other. On Micflikier's goal, the puck movement was fabulous," UNH head coach Dick Umile said.
UNH extended its advantage to 4-2 with its third special-teams goal of the game, a Mike Radja (Yorkville, Ill.) shorthanded tally at 16:33. Josh Ciocco (Atco, N.J.) set up the goal with a pokecheck in the neutral zone that led to a breakaway. Maine goaltender Ben Bishop stopped Ciocco's close-range shot, but Radja swooped in for the rebound and shot the puck into an open net.
Midway through the third period, Regan preserved UNH's 4-2 lead by stopping Rob Bellamy's wrist shot from between the faceoff circles with 10 minutes remaining. Four minutes later, a UNH turnover created a point-blank shot by Josh Soares that Regan slid across the crease to stop at the right post.
With both teams short a player due to penalties, Maine pulled goaltender Ben Bishop with 2:48 remaining but generated little pressure until the point when the Black Bears called time out with 1:12 to play. A flurry in front led to a loose puck in the low slot that Greg Moore fired high of the crossbar with 30 seconds on the clock, and Maine did not get a shot on goal the rest of the way.
Bishop finished with 26 saves for Maine, which recorded the shot advantage in the first (14-11) and third (9-6) periods to finish with a 33-30 edge overall.
The teams skated to a 2-2 tie through one period of play as UNH erased a pair of one-goal deficits. Maine skated to an early 1-0 lead on Moore's power-play goal at 2:39. Soares initiated the scoring play with a pass to the high slot, where Keenan Hopson fired a shot that was redirected into the net by Moore.
The Wildcats capitalized on a 5x3 power play to tie the score, 1-1, at 3:43. Hemingway feathered a pass from the right dasher to the left circle and Micflikier's shot towards the right post was tapped into the open net by Daniel Winnik (Mississauga, Ontario).
Maine regained the lead, 2-1, on a power-play goal at 16:28 when Michel Leveille collected a pass at the right doorstep and shot into the open near side. John Hopson, with the pass across the slot, and Mike Lundin were credited with assists.
UNH scored the only even-strength goal of the opening period with 1:26 remaining on the clock. Brad Flaishans (Glendale, Ariz.), with the assistance of Winnik and Hemingway, scored on a shot from the left point that caromed off Maine's Bishop into the net.
New Hampshire returns to action Nov. 18 at home against UMass-Lowell. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.