Christian Frey made 35 saves and Andrew Gaus scored the decisive goal midway through the third period as the Dubuque Fighting Saints of the United States Hockey League scored a 2-0 victory over Vitkovice Steel of the Czech Republic on Monday during the second day of the 2013 Junior Club World Cup in Omsk, Russia.
"I think it was a total team effort … yes, Christian stood tall, but a lot of guys were willing to block shots and step in the way," Dubuque coach Matt Shaw told the league's website. "It was a well-deserved win for us. We're learning how to play the way we want to play."
Gaus' goal 9:38 into the third, with the teams skating 4-on-4, gave Dubuque (1-1-0) a 1-0 edge. Brett Boeing fed Gaus along right wing and the forward skated into the Vitkovice zone before firing a shot that beat goalie Rene Svoboda through the five-hole.
Frey was stellar throughout, including late in the game when the Fighting Saints were forced to kill a power play with less than three minutes left in regulation. Dubuque closed out the scoring with 10 seconds remaining when Seamus Malone hit the empty net.
"It was a huge win for us, the team really pulled together and had a great game," Frey said. "I thought I had a good game, but I definitely didn't do it all myself. The defense blocked a lot of shot and played great."
Frey, 20, is playing for his third USHL team in three seasons. The native of Arlington, Texas, began with the Des Moines Buccaneers in 2011-12 before his trade to the Tri-City Storm in February 2012. He played 12 games for the Clark Cup champion Fighting Saints at the end of last season.
The Fighting Saints will next face the hometown Omsk Hawks on Wednesday.