University of Maine freshman left winger Thomas Freel snapped a 14-game goalless drought at the perfect time.

Freel scored with 20 seconds left in regulation to give the Black Bears a highly contested 1-0 victory over the hard-working University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves at the Alfond Arena.

The teams will conclude their series on Saturday at 5 p.m.

UMaine improved to 7-9-2 overall while UAA fell to 4-13.

With the win, UMaine equaled last year’s win total when it went 7-22-4.

Sophomore center Nolan Renwick and sophomore defenseman David Breazeale picked up assists on Freel’s second goal of the season.

Breazeale rushed the puck into the UAA zone and had the puck in the corner. Renwick gained control of the puck, came out of the corner with it and passed it back to Breazeale, whose shot deflected off a UAA player over to Freel in the middle of the slot.

Freel spun around to his left and snapped a rising 22-foot wrist shot past UAA goalie Joey Lamoreaux’s glove.

“I knew there wasn’t too much time left and there was a bit of a scrum in front so I just tried to get it through,” said Freel, whose wrister appeared to glance slightly off the stick of UAA’s Caleb Hite.

“I was hoping to score at the Alfond for the longest time and this was one of the best ways to do it. I’m pretty happy about it,” added Freel, whose first goal came in a 5-1 loss at Bentley on Oct. 15.

Freel had hit the post earlier in the period, as did UAA’s Maximillion Helgeson.

Junior Victor Ostman, the reigning Hockey East Goalie of the Month, made 25 saves for his third shutout of the season and Lamoreaux finished with 40 stops.

“Victor was great,” said UMaine head coach Ben Barr. “He was calm and collected and held on to the pucks. There weren’t a lot of crazy rebounds out there.”

“He played a perfect hockey game,” said UAA coach Matt Shasby. “He gave up very few rebounds. We were throwing pucks at him from weird angles and he swallowed everything up and didn’t allow us to get an ugly one in front.”

Shasby added that Lamoreaux was “amazing” and came up with a number of terrific saves in which he went from post-to-post to rob Black Bear shooters.

Ostman was happy with his performance and credited his teammates for their play in front of him.

“They didn’t have many Grade-A (high-percentage) chances. The guys did a good job keeping them to the outside and that made my job easier,” said Ostman, who missed last weekend’s series at Colgate due to illness.

The Danderyd, Sweden, native has allowed only three goals in his last five starts.

The Black Bears spent most of the first period in the Alaska Anchorage zone, outshooting the Seawolves 20-5.

But they couldn’t parlay that dominance into a goal as Lamoreaux made a number of quality saves and his teammates did a nice job clearing rebounds and tying up Black Bear sticks in front to limit second-chance opportunities.

UMaine’s Didrik Henbrant put the puck in the back of the net off a Donavan Houle cross-crease pass but he kicked the puck in so it was waved off by the referees.

The Seawolves, who arrived in Bangor on Tuesday after sweeping UMass Lowell last weekend in Lowell, played much better in the second period and outshot UMaine 15-12.

Ostman came up with some key saves including a breakaway stop off Ben Almquist, who was sent in alone by Helgeson.

The Seawolves carried that momentum into the third period as they spent the first five minutes in the UMaine zone before the Black Bears responded.

Barr said after a great first period, his team couldn’t build on that.

“We don’t have it in us to sustain that right now. But a win is a win. [Alaska-Anchorage] is playing well. That was a big time play by Freel at the end,” Barr said. “We did some good things but we definitely need to be better.”

Shasby wasn’t happy with his team’s performance, particularly a power play chance they had with 6:35 left in the game in which they failed to get a shot on goal.

“We didn’t execute. It was a textbook 0-0 game. We were in a situation where if we execute on it and get the lead with six minutes left, we’re setting ourselves up for a good finish,” Shasby said.