ORONO, Maine-- Martin Kariya (North Vancouver, British Columbia) scored just 29 seconds into overtime on a break away as the University of Maine men's ice hockey team defeated the University of New Hampshire 2-1 in front of 5,641 fans at a soldout Alfond Arena on Friday night in Orono, Maine. The Black Bears, who have now won six straight games, improve to 9-1-1 on the season with the win, 4-0-0 in Hockey East play while New Hampshire falls to 7-2-2, 5-2-1 in conference play.
Robert Liscak (Skalica, Slovakia) opened the scoring at 13:28 of the first period on the power play. Colin Shields (Glasgow, Scotland) and Lucas Lawson (Braeside, Ontario) each passed the puck back-and-forth several times before Liscak knocked the loose puck into the net past UNH netminder Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass.). The Black Bears took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, despite being outshot 15-6 in the frame.
The Black Bears had a chance to take a 2-0 lead midway through the third period but missed a shot on an open net. The Wildcats scored the equalizer just seconds later when Lanny Gare (Vernon, British Columbia) tallied his seventh goal of the season at 11:06 of the third period on a high shot over the shoulder of UMaine netminder Jimmy Howard (Ogdensburg, N.Y.). Preston Callander (Regina, Saskatchewan) found Gare to start the play.
It did not take the Black Bears long to win the game in overtime as Chris Heisten (Anchorage, Alaska) sent Kariya in on the break away less than 30 second into the extra frame. For Kariya, it was his fourth goal of the season and team-leading 16th point.
UMaine netminder Howard was spectacular in goal, making 35 saves, including several game-saving stops. He improves to 7-1-0 on the season. The 35 saves are one shy of his career high of 36 that he finished with last Saturday at Boston University. Wildcat netminder Ayers made 25 saves, including 14 in the third period. He falls to 7-2-2 on the season.
The Black Bears finished the night one-for-three on the power play, while UNH was scoreless in six chances with the man-advantage. Maine was outshot 36-27 in the game.
The Black Bears return to action Tuesday, Nov. 26 when they host Quinnipiac at Alfond Arena at 7:00 p.m. The Wildcats return to action on Sunday, Nov. 24 when they host Massachusetts at 4:00 p.m.