DURHAM, N.H. - Mike Ayers (Hingham, Mass.) made 17 saves to register his school-record ninth career shutout to lead the No. 4 University of New Hampshire men's ice hockey team to Saturday night's 3-0 victory against the University of Vermont at the Whittemore Center. It was the season opener for UNH while the Catamounts fell to 0-2-0.
Ayers, who shared the career shutout record with Sean Matile (1996-99), faced his toughest test in the final minute, when UVM pulled its goalie in favor of an extra skater. He made seven saves in the final frame, which matched his second-period total.
Sean Collins (Reading, Mass.) opened the game scoring with a shorthanded goal at 2:50 of the first period. The initial shot by Steve Saviano (Reading, Mass.) was blocked by a defenseman in front of the net. Collins gathered the loose puck in the slot and, after having one shot stopped by UVM goaltender Travis Russell, scored on a low shot. Mike Lubesnick (Northbrook, Ill.) was also credited with an assist.
The Wildcats netted the only goal of the middle stanza when Justin Aikins (South Surrey, B.C.) scored a power-play goal at 1:25. Nathan Martz (Chilliwack, B.C.) earned an assist with his pass to Aikins in the high slot.
New Hampshire scored its third special teams goal of the night when Martz, with the assistance of Aikins and Brian Yandle (Milton, Mass.), potted a power-play goal at 13:54 of the third period.
UVM goalie Travis Russell stopped 25 shots in 59:02 of action.
UNH returns to action Oct. 16 with its Hockey East opener vs. Merrimack College. Game time at the Whittemore Center is 7 p.m.