DURHAM, New Hampshire — Mitchell Fossier amassed four points and Jeremy Swayman made 39 saves as the University of Maine defeated New Hampshire 5-3 at the Whittemore Center on Saturday night to earn a split of their weekend Hockey East series.
UNH had won 3-2 in overtime Friday night.
UMaine is now 10-13-3 overall, 6-7-3 in Hockey East. UNH is 10-9-8 overall, 6-6-5 in conference play.
Fossier, who entered the weekend with just one goal in UMaine’s first 24 games, had two goals and two assists in the Black Bears’ third and final meeting of the regular season against New Hampshire.
UMaine snapped a 2-2 tie and took the lead for good with the only goal of the second period on a power play. Brady Keeper found open space at the top of the offensive zone and scored with a high shot past UNH netminder Mike Robinson after set-up work by Fossier and Alexis Binner.
Chase Pearson gave UMaine a 4-2 lead early in the third period with a goal off his skate that was upheld after an officials’ review. Eduards Tralmaks initially got the puck to Fossier, who dished it to Pearson for the redirection into an open net.
UNH crept back to within a single goal when Max Gildon scored off a face-off won by teammate Marcus Vela, but Fossier added an empty-net goal to cap off UMaine’s sixth Hockey East win of the season.
Robinson finished with 22 saves for UNH.
UMaine jumped out to a 2-0 lead only to have New Hampshire answer with two goals of its own to forge a 2-2 tie by the end of the opening period.
Tim Doherty scored the Black Bears’ first goal of the night on the rebound of a wrap-around shot from behind the cage by teammate Jacob Schmidt-Svejstrup. Robinson stopped the initial attempt but Doherty crashed the net, gained control of the puck and scored to give the Black Bears an early 1-0 lead.
The Bears doubled that lead with a power-play goal by Fossier, again on a rebound. The play began as Keeper worked the puck around to Tralmaks, who fired the puck on net. Robinson stopped the shot but could not control the puck and Fossier was there to finish the play.
Benton Maass’ shot from the blue line through traffic in front of Swayman put UNH on the scoreboard with 3:58 left in the opening period.
Seventeen seconds later the Wildcats gained an odd-man rush when a UMaine defender fell, and Ara Nazarian took a pass from Richard Boyd as he was charging toward the net from the face-off circle and scored the tying goal.
Both teams were 2-for-2 on power plays, and UMaine aided Swayman’s cause by blocking 10 shots as a team.
On Friday night, Nazarian scored the game-winning goal for the Wildcats 1:01 into overtime. Nazarian’s shot found its way through traffic and into the Maine net.
UNH scored the game’s first two goals when Nazarian scored on a breakaway eight minutes into the game and Charlie Kelleher extended the lead to 2-0 when he scored early in the second.
The Bears rallied in the third period to tie it with goals from Emil Westerlund and Chase Pearson to send the game into the extra session.
Swayman finished with 36 saves for Maine while Robinson had 32 for UNH.
UMaine will return to the ice next weekend when the Black Bears host ninth-ranked Providence in a two-game series. The opener is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Alfond Arena.