ORONO — Good fortune was elusive again Saturday for the Maine men’s hockey team.

But there was spunk, if not much luck. The Black Bears hit hard, got terrific goaltending, had a potential tying goal arrive in the net a fraction of a second too late, and left Alfond Arena with a seventh consecutive loss.

This one came 4-1 at the hands of Vermont.

There was a sense that the Black Bears got the fate they deserved after shrinking late and losing 6-3 to the Catamounts on Friday.

On Saturday, Maine (3-11-1) showed its 4,148 fans more grit.

“If we have this kind of effort and we get smarter” victories will happen, Maine Coach Red Gendron said. “They’re just having a hard time in the chaos that is hockey sorting it out, and a big key is them talking to each other. That’s how you deal with chaos is that you communicate with each other, and we don’t do enough of that yet.”

No. 13 Vermont (11-3-1) got a first-period goal from Mario Puskarich but Maine quickly tied it on a Steven Swavely tip-in.

In the second period, Black Bear freshman Cedric Lacroix was assessed a five-minute major penalty and game misconduct for a hit to the head. Vermont had 15 shots on Maine goaltender Sean Romeo on its second-period power plays and finally scored when Brady Shaw got two swipes at a loose puck in the crease at 12:34.

But Romeo’s efforts – he saved 40 shots in all – gave his team a boost. Maine buzzed the Vermont net in the final minute of the second period. Defenseman Dan Renouf sent a slap shot from the right point toward the goal and it loudly clanked off the pipe. Seconds later he got a second chance and rattled a shot into the net off the far post as the horn sounded.

Maine celebrated the apparent tying goal, but an official’s review revealed it crossed the line just after time expired.

“Probably the turning point wasn’t even in our control,” Vermont Coach Kevin Sneddon said. “That puck crosses the line and it’s maybe a different game. That probably put them back.”

Swavely denied that it did.

“Goal for, goal against, our mood is whatever happens, whatever the call is, you move on, keep going,” he said.

Maine began the third period on a power play but that was no advantage for the Black Bears this weekend. They went 0 of 9 in the series on the power play against the Catamounts’ third-in-the-nation penalty kill. Vermont went ahead 3-1 at 2:47 when Rob Darrar fed Jarrid Privitera out front for a nifty one-timer. The final goal was into an empty net.

Mike Santaguida made 27 saves for Vermont, which has defeated Maine seven consecutive times.

“We had certain players bring the puck up who weren’t delivering it at the right time,” Gendron said after his team mustered only six shots on its five man advantages. “The team’s in a funk but I will tell you this. Tonight on the bench was the best I’ve seen it all year long. We were down in the third period and early on we gave up the third goal. But the kids stuck with it emotionally throughout the third period, which is a very good sign.”

Gendron saw another good sign when he entered the locker room. His team captain was giving a speech.

“Devin Shore was talking to the team and he hit it right on the head,” Gendron said. ” ‘This isn’t a throwaway season. We’re going to keep fighting.’ ”

They at least did that Saturday, which is a start.

Maine next travels to Massachusetts-Lowell for a game next Saturday.