It only took St. Paul Johnson 10 shots to become the South St. Paul Premier champions, as the Governors defeated Woodbury 4-2 Wednesday night.
The Royals came out fast and dominated much of the night, outshooting St. Paul Johnson 13-2 in the first period alone. The Governors capitalized on one of the two shots they had in the first period with a power play goal from junior Carl Fish. After getting outshot in the first period, Governor’s coach Moose Younghans knew his team had to buckle down on defense.
“We knew they were a good team and we needed to stay on top of them,” he said.
It wouldn’t take long for Woodbury to rally and tie the game with a goal from senior Ben Wahlin. The shot count for period two was a bit more even, but the Royals controlled most of the possession time, and were winning a lot of the one on one battles in the middle of the ice.
Nearing the end of the second period, the opportunistic Governors’ offense struck again with a goal from senior Isaac Moberg that gave his team the lead going into the third period.
The third was exciting from start to finish as both teams had lots of scoring chances. Just 44 seconds into the period, Moberg scored his second goal of the night giving St. Paul Johnson a two goal lead. Later on, Woodbury would pull within one after a power play goal from senior Kyle Topp.
Down one goal, Woodbury was on the power play for the remainder of the game due to a five-minute major on the Governors. It seemed like the perfect chance to pull even, but St. Paul Johnson senior goaltender Ezra Weintzweig was a continual force on defense, stopping 28 of the 30 total shots he faced throughout the game.
“I had to keep my focus and poise, and I knew my team needed me to step up,” said Weintzweig.
Woodbury could not convert on the final power plays due to tremendous defense by the Governors and Weintzweig. While trying to break out of its own end, Woodbury made a costly mistake by turning over the puck.
St. Paul Johnson’s Carl Fish intercepted an errant pass and buried it the net to give the Governors a 4-2 victory and the championship. Coach Younghans was proud of his team and knew that they just needed to play their style of game and stay focused.
“We are an opportunistic team, and we hung in there with the best they had,” said Younghans.
St. Paul Johnson defeated Woodbury 4-2 at Doug Woog Arena on Wednesday night to take home the South St. Paul Premier title.
The Governors', ranked No. 19 in Class 1A by the state coaches' poll, struck first, taking the lead with only two shots total in the first period, compared to Woodbury’s 13. It didn’t take long for Woodbury to even the game early in the second period through a Ben Wahlin goal.
St. Paul Johnson (8-1-1, 0-1-1) ran into penalty trouble, totaling nine infractions on the night, which gave the Royals (8-4, 2-2) plenty of offensive opportunities, resulting in a 30-10 shots on goal advantage.
Isaac Moberg scored late in the second period and early in the third period to give the Governors the lead, and a short-handed goal by Carl Fish sealed the victory for St. Paul Johnson.
Both teams incurred a major penalty in the third period with a game total of 30 minutes being assessed. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine
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