ORONO, Maine — The University of Maine’s hockey team was having a forgettable first period during Saturday night’s game at Alfond Arena in Orono as the determined American International College Yellow Jackets were carrying the play, winning most of the loose pucks and deservedly leading 2-1 in the waning seconds.

But freshman center Chase Pearson tied it 2-2 with just over one second left in the period, and he added the game-winner in the second period as the Black Bears scored six straight goals and triumphed 7-2 at Alfond Arena.

Senior right wing Blaine Byron also had a pair of goals and sophomore Rob McGovern made 22 saves for the Black Bears (7-9-3), including two gems late in the second period that enable UMaine to maintain a 4-2 lead.

Freshman Zackarias Skog made seven saves on 11 shots for AIC (3-8-6) before Alex Murray played the third period and made 16 saves on 19 shots.

Mark Hamilton opened the scoring for UMaine at the 4:34 mark before AIC took a deserved 2-1 lead on goals by Shawn McBride and Hugo Reinhardt before Pearson tied it.

“That was a huge goal,” UMaine senior center and captain Cam Brown said. “That swung the momentum our way before going into the locker room.”

“It was tough to give that one up late,” AIC first-year head coach Eric Lang said. “Our kids didn’t get what they deserved out of that period. It was the best period we’ve played all year.”

AIC attempted 30 shots to just 10 for UMaine and had a 14-5 edge in shots on goal over the first 20 minutes.

Pearson’s goal came off a two-on-one as he raced down the right wing after picking the puck up in the neutral zone and beat Skog with a rising wrist shot to the far corner from the right circle.

“I saw a little bit of net there and tried to put it above his pad and it went in,” said Pearson, who had who scored three goals in UMaine’s 5-3 win over AIC on Friday night.

He gave UMaine the lead for good at the 10:04 mark of the middle period, and Byron padded the lead 2:55 later.

Byron added a 5-on-3 goal in the third period to extend UMaine’s streak with a power play goal to five games. Nolan Vesey added a power-play goal, and Patrick Shea capped the scoring.

Pearson’s game-winning goal was set up by Shea, whose cross-ice pass deflected to him off an AIC stick, and he beat Skog with a 12-foot wrister back against the grain.

“I just tried to put it on net and it went in. I had puck luck this weekend,” said Pearson, who also had an assist in the game.

Byron padded the lead when he took a Ryan Smith pass and stickhandled toward the middle of the ice before wristing a 20-footer past Skog’s blocker.

“Smith found me, and I was able to walk in and pick my corner,” Byron said. “Our goalie coach, Alfie Michaud, said [Skog] looked weaker on the blocker side, and we capitalized on that.”

“Our goaltending wasn’t great. At one point, they had four goals on 10 shots, and that’s not going to work,” Lang said.

McGovern preserved the lead when he flashed his left pad out to stop Martin Mellberg’s point-blank wrister and then he closed his pads to deny Austin Orszulak’s re-direction.

“[McGovern] played a solid game. We needed him to be solid over the first two periods because we didn’t play very well,” UMaine coach Red Gendron said. “We scored a couple of nice goals to go up 4-2 and, in the third period, we played the way we needed to.”

UMaine outshot AIC 19-2 in the final period.

Byron’s second goal came off a Brown pass from behind the net with the two-man advantage.

“I was trying to getting anything I could on it, and I was able to chip it over the top of the goalie,” said Byron, who chipped the puck past Murray.

Hamilton opened the scoring when he backpedaled to the left faceoff dot and beat Skog with a wrister to the far corner.

AIC had sustained pressure in the UMaine zone, and the Yellow Jackets were rewarded when Martin Mellberg’s wrister produced a rebound and McBride swept it home from the doorstep.

Reinhardt supplied the Yellow Jackets with the lead on the power play when he tipped Andrew DeBrincat’s wrister from the midpoint back against the grain and past McGovern’s right pad.

“We came out flat and we knew it,” said Brown, who had two assists. “But we kept things simple after the first period, and when you keep things simple, good things happen.”

Lang thought his team was “pretty good” through two periods but ran out of gas in the third.

UMaine went 2-for-6 on the power play, and UMaine is now 11-for-25 over the last five games. AIC went 1-for-1.