ORONO — Devin Shore and Steven Swavely don’t always play on the same line for the Maine hockey team.

But they were in perfect sync Friday in a 6-4 victory over rival New Hampshire. Swavely scored on Maine’s first and last shots and Shore netted the eventual game-winner and a crucial insurance goal, much to the delight of the largest crowd of the season at Alfond Arena, which swayed under the weight of 5,084 fans, 1,451 of them students who refused to sit down.

“Chemistry is a tough thing to kind of explain,” said Shore, the Black Bears’ junior captain. “Sometimes you have two good players and it just doesn’t work out. Sometimes it just does. And we enjoy playing with each other.”

Shore added two assists to bring his point total to 14 in the eight games he’s played against the Wildcats (8-13-2, 3-7-1 Hockey East). He broke a 3-3 tie midway through the second period with a power-play goal on a wrist shot while skating from right to left through the high slot. And he scored 12 seconds into the third period to boost Maine’s lead to 5-3.

“From the moment I guess I was recruited here, you hear about Maine-UNH and they’re a fun team to play against. I enjoy the rivalry and the emotions,” Shore said. “I think the points might be a little bit of a coincidence. I don’t think about that stuff too much. But they’re just a fun team to play against. There’s mutual hatred and there’s also mutual respect. Both arenas are pretty wild when we play against each other, so you just want to be a part of it as best you can.”

Maine (9-15-1, 4-7) took a 1-0 lead just 47 seconds into the game when Swavely put a wrist shot past freshman goaltender Daniel Tirone.

The Black Bears held the lead for only 54 seconds before Kyle Smith slammed in the rebound of a John Furgele shot for a 1-1 tie.

The Wildcats grabbed a 2-1 lead at 11:17 of the opening period, just as a 5-on-3 advantage came to an end. Before Maine defenseman Conor Riley could skate from the penalty box and into position, freshman Cameron Marks unleashed a slapshot that beat goaltender Sean Romeo. It was Marks’ first career goal.

New Hampshire added to the lead at 16:50 when Romeo stopped a Harry Quast shot from the right circle, only to have the puck ricochet to Matt Willows to the left of the crease. Willows didn’t miss an open net.

Black Bear freshman Nolan Vesey, playing on the top line with Shore and Swavely, deflected in the rebound of a Shore shot late in the first period to bring his team within 3-2.

Riley tied the score for Maine before Shore struck twice.

His second goal was the result of strong play by all three members of his line. Swavely slid the puck in deep, won a battle to get it back and sent it to Vesey, who made a perfect pass to Shore skating in from the right circle.

“We just didn’t pay well right after (taking the 3-1 lead) defensively. We didn’t do a great job in our own end,” New Hampshire Coach Dick Umile said. “Devin, he’s a goal scorer. The kid finds it and puts it away.”

New Hampshire ratcheted up the tension with a Casey Thrush goal at 15:42 of the third period to cut the deficit to 5-4. The Wildcats kept the pressure up for the next 3 minutes but couldn’t get another shot past Romeo.

With 90 seconds left, Umile pulled Tirone. Swavely secured the puck outside of his blue line at slid it into the empty net with 1:18 left to seal the victory, the second in a row for Maine.

“After they scored three straight, we just kept it together on the bench and stayed positive and said, ‘If we get the second one, we’re going to take off from there.’ And that’s exactly what we did,” Swavely said.

The teams meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday in Durham, New Hampshire.

Mark Emmert can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: MarkEmmertPPH

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.