ORONO — Well, yes, it turns out scoring may be something of a challenge for the University of Maine men’s hockey team.

The Black Bears were shut out in the second and third periods of their season-opener Saturday night and lost 2-1 to ECAC visitor Quinnipiac on a goal with 86 seconds left in the game.

A deflated crowd of 4,338 filed out of Alfond Arena after seeing the Black Bears jump out to a 1-0 lead with the game barely five minutes old, then fail to score again despite several good chances.

“We out-chanced them pretty significantly, but that’s the way the game is,” said Maine coach Tim Whitehead, whose squad outshot Quinnipiac 32-18 but came up empty on five power-play opportunities, including one with a little more than four minutes remaining in a game that was tied at 1.

“We’re going to be in a lot of those tight, low-scoring games,” he said, “so we’d better get used to it.”

Jordan Samuels-Thomas, a Connecticut native who sat out last season after transferring from Bowling Green (where he had led the team in scoring each of his first two seasons), scored the game-winner after a face-off won by Jeremy Langlois, who also assisted on Quinnipiac’s first goal.

“It was a really long year,” Samuels-Thomas said. “To score the game-winner like this in my first game back is just a blessing.”

Maine goalie Dan Sullivan caught part of the puck, which slid between his arm and chest. The Black Bears played with six skaters for the final 1:26, but Quinnipiac goalie Eric Hartzwell, who finished with 31 saves, was up to the task.

“It’s tough coming in here,” Hartzwell said of the noisy arena. “An atmosphere like this is pretty crazy.”

The place erupted in the game’s fifth minute, when freshman Steven Swavely gathered in a face-off won by his brother Jon Swavely, a junior, and scored from between the circles.

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