ORONO — Bottom line, the University of Maine men’s hockey team played like the desperate group it was Friday night

See a puck, shoot it.

Don’t have the puck? Charge the net.

“We knew we needed it,” said sophomore defenseman Eric Schurhamer, who scored the game-winner for the Black Bears, in a 3-1 victory over the University of Alaska-Anchorage, before 3,599 at Alfond Arena.

Schurhamer poked in a loose puck as 15:58 of the third period to break a 1-1 tie. Cam Brown added an empty-netter with 10 seconds left as Maine (1-4) got its first win of the year. Alaska-Anchorage, which beat the Black Bears in the season-opener two weeks ago, is now 3-1-1.

Senior Jake Rutt of Scarborough notched his first goal of the season in the first period. Maine goalie Matt Morris kept the Black Bears in the game with 33 saves.


Maine outshot the Seawolves 40-34. Alaska-Anchorage goalie Olivier Mantha made 37 saves.

“We were playing a desperate team,” Seawolves coach Matt Thomas said. “All they did was pepper the net. Both goalies kept their teams in the game.”

On the game-winner, Mantha looked like he had made a save on a Black Bears charge. Forward Liam Pecararo drove the puck in. Steven Swavely tried a rebound.

No one seemed to know where the puck was, and Schurhamer took his chance.

“I remember being at the top of the circle and I just got in there as fast as I could,” Schurhamer said. “The goalie was looking over to his left, and it was right under him … I poked it through.”

That was difference.


“Their guy goes in to find the puck,” Thomas said. “We didn’t have enough of those second and third chances.”

The Black Bears had to manufacture those chances. That’s what winless teams do. Maine Coach Red Gendron picked up on the “desperate” theme.

“We played much more desperately,” Gendron said. “You saw our team went to the net hard all night long.

“We delivered pucks to the net and we had people going there, hacking and whacking for rebounds. It’s not exactly rocket science.”

Gendron revealed his heavily-strategic speech before the third period.

“All I told them was to play better,” Gendron said. “You want to win games, play better.”


Maine made too many turnovers and took too many penalties (killing five of six power plays).

But the Black Bears had Morris.

“I was seeing the puck pretty well,” he said. “Defenseman did well, keeping the shots to the outside.”

But Morris was also on his own at times at the end of the first period and throughout the second, coming through with a sliding pad or a quick blocker.

“He was obviously terrific,” Gendron said.

The Seawolves’ lone goal was on their second power play. From the high slot, Austin Coldwell’s wrister sailed over Morris’ blocker, at 9:33 of the first period.

Maine came back with pressure, getting numbers in front of the net. Rutt whistled a shot through the crowd, tying the game 1-1 at 10:19.

After Schurhamer’s goal in the third, Alaska-Anchorage had one final chance with a power play at 17:56. But the Black Bears’ penalty kill was stifling. Mantha could not come off until 32 seconds remained. Maine soon regained possession and Brown clinched it.

The two teams play again at 7 p.m. Saturday. Gendron has been rotating Morris with freshman Sean Romeo, but would not say who would play Saturday.

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