ORONO, Me. -- Just seconds into the third period, the Black Bears won an offensive zone faceoff cleanly and boxed out the Eagles just long enough for Donovan Villeneuve-Houle to swing around from the left wing and bury the leading goal past Jacob Fowler to make the score 2-1.
In a game where the Eagles (7-2-0, 2-1-0) never found the lead, the Maine Black Bears (6-1-0, 3-0-0) created timely chances and played shutdown defense when they needed to, skating to a 4-2 victory Friday night.
Following an uneventful first period where each team forechecked well and found plenty of chances in the slot, Jacob Fowler and Victor Ostman proved to be the best players on the ice, parrying any shot to come their way.
But at 4:26 of the second period, Maine's Lynden Breen buried a loose puck in the crease that trickled through Fowler's pads.
Shortly after, the Eagles found themselves on the power play as Cutter Gauthier centered a puck from the corner only for Gabe Perreault to make another cerebral feed to a wide-open Jack Malone for the tying goal.
Following the Villeneuve-Houle goal, the Black Bears tallied another off a well-executed one-timer by Bradly Nadeau beating Fowler's high blocker side.
However, at a late attempt at a comeback, Perreault once again found himself flying down the wing, and after a quick head fake the puck was dished to the back post finding a wide-open Ryan Leonard who slipped the puck through Ostman's five-hole cutting the lead to one.
Despite solid forechecking down the stretch, the Eagles were unable to convert on the man-advantage situation as Maine's Grayson Arnott buried an empty-netter from his own zone sealing the 4-2 victory.
The Eagles will face the Black Bears on Saturday at 7 p.m. for the back half of their two-game road set.