PORTLAND — Rob McGovern finally earned a win at the Cross Insurance Arena to go with an outstanding performance.

Maine’s sophomore goalie made 28 saves in a 5-1 victory over the Brown Bears Saturday night in a non-conference men’s ice hockey matchup.

In 2015-16, McGovern made his first career NCAA start in Portland during the Icebreaker tournament. In that game, he made 44 saves in a 3-3 tie against eventual national champion North Dakota.

“I really enjoy coming down here to play,” McGovern said. “We always get a great showing of fans. It feels like a home game, technically it is, but it feels like we are back up in Orono with the turnout we get. It’s huge for us for confidence.”

He also suffered a 5-4 loss to New Hampshire in late December later in the season.

After a quiet first period, things started to pick up in the second. Brown couldn’t score on its first power play of the game, and the Black Bears went to work on their own man advantage, their of the 5-on-3 variety. With 15 seconds remaining in the 5-on-3, the puck was worked to defenseman Rob Michel, who blasted a shot past Brown goalie Tim Ernst at the 6:03 mark. It was his third goal of the season.

“We got off to a slow start, we weren’t too happy with that,” Maine coach Red Gendron said. “We didn’t play well the first 10-15 minutes of the first period. Then we played pretty well after that so like you said we did some things in different phases of the game.”

Maine (5-7-3 overall, 1-4-1 Hockey East) controlled the possession in the middle frame after Brown controlled most of the action in the first period. The Black Bears out shot the Bears 12-9 in the period. Cedric Lacroix extended Maine’s lead as he deflected a Brendan Robbin’s shot into the goal from the slot with 2:45 remaining in the second. Schurhamer also recorded an assist.

“I kind of parked in front of the net and it hit me and went in,” Lacroix said. “I was told if you want to score goals you got to get to the net. I simply went to the net and got a lucky bounce there.”

Brown (1-8-0 overall, 1-5-0 ECAC) cut the deficit in half right 30 seconds remaining in the period as Sam Lafferty slipped the puck on the backhand past Rob McGovern. It was the Pittsburgh Penguins’ prospect’s first goal of the season, assisted by Ben Tegtmeyer.

The Lacroix and Robbins connection struck again the third period while the teams skated 4-on-4. Robbins skated down the left wing and dished the puck to Lacroix in the slot for his third goal of the season. Pat Holway also got an assist.

After the 4-on-4 ended, Maine had a power play and they put the game out of reach when freshmen forward Chase Pearson found an open Cam Brown in the slot to make it 4-1 at the 8:31 mark of the third period. Michel got a secondary assist.

Maine went 2-for-5 on the man advantage while Brown was 0-for-5.

Blaine Bryon scored probably scored one of the easiest goals he will ever have when he put home an empty netter with nine minutes remaining after Brown pulled Ernest on the man advantage to make it 6-on-4.

“We got efforts from a lot a different guys,” Gendron said. “The last power play goal was (Cam Brown) and Rob Michel is finally starting to score. He’s putting more pucks in the net. There’s a lot of positives .”

Ernest made 24 saves while Connor Maher came in relief after the shorthanded goal and made three stops.

Maine returns to Portland for one more game this season, against Notre Dame on Feb. 10. The Black Bears face New Hampshire next weekend for a home-and-home series.


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