PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The departure of the Portland Pirates has left a hole in the hearts of hockey fans in southern Maine. But the University of Maine hockey team is helping to fill the void, by playing three hockey games here in Portland this year, including one Saturday night against Brown at 7 p.m. at the Cross Arena.

University officials say they have a large alumni fan base in the area, and they want to give those fans more of a chance to see the team live.

The hockey team played a game at the Cross Arena against Boston College back in November, and though the Black Bears lost 6-1, the school said there was a great turn out and an extremely enthusiastic crowd.

As the only Division I program in the state, the university says it wants to showcase its teams throughout Maine. That applies to the hockey team, as well as the school's other sports teams, and the Cross Arena is happy to provide a venue.