PORTLAND – A power-play goal with four seconds left in the second period gave the University of Maine the lead for good in a 4-3 hockey victory over Clarkson on Saturday night before an announced crowd of 5,328 at the Cumberland County Civic Center.

Maine goalie Dan Sullivan made 14 of his 30 saves in a scoreless third period as the Black Bears (4-6-2) ended a five-game winless streak. The Knights dropped to 7-5-3.

Clarkson rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie the game 3-3, and it looked like it would remain that way into the third period.

But Matt Mangene fired in a slap shot that deflected off a Clarkson skate and into the net at 19:56. Defenseman Nick Pryor got an assist.

“Pryor and Mangene were very poised at the point, under pressure, clock ticking away,” Maine Coach Tim Whitehead said. “The other guys got to the net and made sure it was a tough one for the goalie to see.”

Clarkson goalie Paul Karpowich made 33 saves.

“Despite a 4-3 score, I thought the goalies may have been the best players on the ice,” Whitehead said.

Maine has had trouble holding leads, but Sullivan came through, especially in the third period.

“I thought we had a real good third period,” Clarkson Coach Casey Jones said. “We gave everything we had to tie that game we actually thought one was in.”

The Knights pulled Karpowich with 1:40 left but could not break through.

Maine won the special teams battle, scoring twice on the power play and once short-handed, to Clarkson’s one power-play goal.

Adam Shemansky led the Black Bears with two goals.

Maine took a 1-0 lead on a short-handed effort by freshman Stu Higgins. Pryor cleared the puck just out of the Maine zone. Higgins took off with it, streaked in and scored near side at 4:10 of the first period.

Later, with the teams skating four-on-four, Clarkson’s Louke Oakley slipped into the slot and roofed a shot to tie the game 1-1 at 12:38.

The Black Bears went back ahead 2-1 later in the period. Shemansky took a pass in the slot, whirled around and backhanded it in at 15:47.

Clarkson’s penalty 18 seconds into the second period led to Shemansky’s one-timer at 1:13, on a pass from Spencer Abbott, for a 3-1 lead.

But the lead disappeared. Sullivan tried to play a puck behind the net. Clarkson got control, and Jake Morley scored the easy open-netter at 4:32.

Allan McPherson’s power-play goal at 9:30 tied the game 3-3.

Then, on the Black Bears’ sixth power play, Mangene fired into a crowd, and the puck ended up in the net.

“Hard-fought game,” Whitehead said. “We kept saying on the bench in the third period, ‘get used to it. We’re going to be in a lot of these close game.’ We will certainly take the win.”

NOTES: Jacob Rutt, a freshman defenseman from Scarborough who was in the lineup for Maine’s previous two games, did not dress. … The Black Bears play a two-game series at Vermont next weekend. … Clarkson and Maine will meet again Dec. 29 in the Florida College Classic.

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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