CANTON — Arthur Brey proved to be the man of the hour for the St. Lawrence University hockey team Saturday night.
Brey, a junior goalie, made a career-high 53 saves and sophomore forward Alex Gilmour scored a goal midway through the game as the Saints edged the Yale Bulldogs, 1-0, in a physical ECAC Hockey encounter before a crowd of 1,581 at Appleton Arena.
Brey made 19 of his saves in the third period to hold off the Bulldogs, including several during a Yale power play in the final one minute and 34 seconds, and record his first career shutout.
“I felt really good,” Brey said. “I think the big thing was just building off of (Friday) night, we did a lot of things well. Coming into the game as a team, I think we had a good sense of confidence and we just did our jobs, which is good and exciting.”
With the victory, St. Lawrence (6-18-2, 2-11-1) finished off a weekend sweep of Brown and Yale, capped by winning their second consecutive league game after it entered Friday still seeking its first conference win of the season.
“That was quite a hockey game,” St. Lawrence coach Mark Morris said. “That was a good team we beat and a great effort from Art Brey and our whole defensive corps. We did a good job killing off penalties at critical moments.”
Gilmour scored the only goal St. Lawrence would need for the night with a power-play tally exactly 10 minutes into the second period.
Just seven seconds into the man advantage, Gilmour redirected a Jake Stevens drive through Yale goalie Corbin Kaczperski’s legs for the game’s lone goal.
“I think Loughsie (Ryan Lough) won the faceoff and got it to Carson (Gicewicz) and he knocked it back to Bo (Hanson), who passed it to (Jake Stevens),” Gilmour said of the goal. “I think he moved around a defenseman, got a shot and I got a stick on it in front.”
It was the second goal in as many nights for Gilmour, who scored the Saints’ first goal in a 3-2 triumph over Brown on Friday night.
Brey, who stopped all 34 shots he faced in the first two periods, including 21 in the second, also encountered an eventful third period.
“Art played phenomenal,” St. Lawrence senior forward and captain Joe Sullivan said. “He’s got the capability as a goaltender of taking over games like this and he had a great night.”
“He was solid,” Morris said of Brey. “He was seeing the puck well and you could tell he was really focused.”
The game ended with Yale (9-11-1, 6-9-1) on the power play and on a two-man advantage after it had pulled Kaczperski for an extra attacker.
“I think it was very dramatic for us in the end killing off that penalty,” Brey said. “It’s never easy and for us to pull through this weekend collectively as a team, that’s awesome.”
“The guys really laid it on the line for one another killing off that penalty late with their goalie out,” Morris said.
In all, the Saints killed off all four Bulldogs power plays on the night.
“I’m happy with the way my team played, but you’ve got to score to win,” said Yale coach Keith Allain.
Yale outshot St. Lawrence, 53-28.
“In the third period they really pressed,” Gilmour said. “We stood composed in our zone and killed some key penalties that we took. I think we responded to those well.”
Kaczperski (27 saves), a sophomore goalie, was sharp as well, as he denied Nolan Gluchowski’s breakaway bid in the second period, as well as Bo Hanson’s partial breakaway just before time expired in the period.
“I think he was outstanding tonight,” Allain said of Brey, who made 37 saves in the win against Brown on Friday. “And our goalie played well. But you’ve got to score when you get your chances.”
St. Lawrence played in its sixth straight one-goal game, winning its past two outings after it was edged by a single goal in its previous four games.
“Going into the game I was well prepared knowing they were going to throw pucks on net,” Brey said of Yale, which defeated St. Lawrence, 6-1, in the previous meeting on Nov. 10. “Our defensemen did a good job boxing out and making sure if there were rebounds to not give them any more chances.”
Brey hopes the two wins this weekend will help bolster the team’s confidence down the stretch as it heads into the February portion of its schedule and the last month of the regular season.
“Just seeing the boys put in an effort like they did tonight, it’s real exciting and real promising moving forward,” Brey said.
St. Lawrence still sits in last place but gained ground on 11th place Rensselaer this weekend. The Saints play at Princeton and Quinnipiac next Friday and Saturday.
■ NOTES: Brey’s shutout was the second of the season for the Saints, as sophomore goalie Daniel Mannella shut out Massachusetts Lowell, 3-0, on Dec. 30. … St. Lawrence is 5-4-1 after returning from Christmas break, including 3-4-1 in January. … St. Lawrence improved to 3-6 in one-goal decisions and earned its third home win of the season, improving to 3-8-2.