ORONO — Steven Swavely and his Maine hockey teammates had nine days to stew over an epic trouncing at the hands of New Hampshire.

Also in the back of the mind of the Black Bears’ captain had to be some exceptionally bad luck he had endured in the 2015 portion of his team’s schedule. If hitting the post with a shot was an official statistic, Swavely would surely be among the national leaders.

So the events of Friday night were especially gratifying for Swavely the captain, and Swavely the hard-luck forward.

He scored twice as Maine wore down Colgate in a 3-1 victory before an announced crowd of 3,224 at Alfond Arena.

“It was a wakeup call. That’s not how we want to represent this university. And we all got together and said that’s enough of that. That’s our rival (New Hampshire). We lost 7-0. We wear the Maine crest on the front of our jerseys and that can’t happen ever again,” said Swavely, who now has five goals on the season.

“It feels better to get a win, but I’m not going to lie, it feels good to kind of break that post streak that I had there.”

Maine (5-11-4) broke a four-game winless streak, all against New Hampshire, that culminated with that 7-0 shellacking Dec. 30.

Swavely had been playing on the wing on Maine’s top line, but was moved back to center Friday, between Will Merchant and Brendan Robbins. It paid off immediately when Swavely gathered a loose puck in the Colgate zone and brought it to the right circle, firing a wrist shot to the low, far side of the net past Raiders goaltender Charlie Finn. That tied the score 1-1 14:33 into the first period.

“I was kind of walking across the middle and one guy was down on one knee, so I kind of tried to wait him out. And then Robbins was going to the net, Merchant put a great screen,” Swavely said. “It probably doesn’t go in if it wasn’t for Merchant.”

Forty minutes of scoreless hockey followed as neither team mounted great challenges for the goaltenders.

Maine freshman Rob McGovern turned aside 24 shots to earn his first career victory after eight losses and two ties, despite playing very well at times.

But his previous appearance at Alfond ended with Massachusetts-Lowell peppering him for four goals, the last of which left him with a lower-body injury that sidelined him for three weeks.

He returned with two poor performances in losses to New Hampshire, but seemed to gain confidence as Friday’s game wore on.

“That’s huge for him. He’s a good player. Like a lot of freshmen, a lot of ups and downs. He’s demonstrated that he can be a very good goaltender at this level,” Maine Coach Red Gendron said.

“Our job as a coaching staff is to show some confidence in players that we know can contribute.”

Colgate (5-14-1) played only three forward lines all evening because of injuries and began to look weary in the third period, when Maine outshot the Raiders 16-9.

At 16:21 of the period, Colgate defenseman Kevin Lough was backing toward his goal with the puck, with Swavely closing in.

He whiffed on a routine pass attempt to his partner, Anthony Sanniti, and Swavely knew what to do.

Swavely skated in alone on Finn, brought the puck to his forehand to bring the goaltender to his knees, then lifted it over him on the backhand.

Cam Brown scored an empty-net goal with 12.5 seconds remaining to seal the win.

“We were back on our heels for a lot of that third period. We just didn’t have anything to push back there,” Colgate Coach Don Vaughan said.

“We’re a team that’s searching for wins and we’ve got a group of guys in the locker room that are pretty dejected after battling pretty hard on the road in a tough building and having to give it up the way we did. We’re going to have to find a way to regroup.”

The teams meet again here at 7 p.m. Saturday.


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