St. Paul Johnson at South St. Paul
3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 20
It’s been a while since St. Paul Johnson (5-1-1) and South St. Paul (4-1-0) have been state superpowers. Johnson has four state titles (none since John F. Kennedy was still in the White House, though) and has made 22 trips to the state tournament. The Packers have made 28 visits to the tourney but have not returned with a championship. Since 1996, however, the two former powers have made a grand total of one appearance at state (2004 for South St. Paul). But it may be turn-back-the-clock time in the St. Paul area with both teams off to good starts.
Junior goaltender Sam Moberg (5-1-1, 2.10, .922) has been starting for the Governors since he was an eighth-grader and that experience is paying off with big results. He’s not allowed more than three goals in a game and has a better than .900 save percentage in all but one game (the team’s only loss, 3-1 at North St. Paul). Justin Howell (6-3-9) leads Johnson in scoring.
South St. Paul has also been defensively stingy, allowing just five goals in five games. The team’s only loss was a 1-0 defeat to Tartan in which junior goalie Tanner Johnson (2-1-0, 1.33, .960) stopped 29 of 30 shots. Johnson has split time with Kyle Jacobs (2-0-0, 0.50, .971).