St. Paul Academy at Breck
7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Jan. 6

For No. 8-1A St. Paul Academy (10-2-0), its early schedule has been a chance to show that it belongs among the elite teams in Class 1A. The young Spartans feature a roster loaded with underclassmen, most of whom are playing key roles in a fast start. In fact, only one of the team’s 56 goals this year has been scored by a senior, and the two leading scorers, Matt Dahlseide (10-17-27) and Dev McCabe (6-17-23) are a sophomore and freshman, respectively. SPA’s best victory came on Dec. 6 when the Spartans recorded a 5-2 home defeat of Luverne, a team that went undefeated last regular season. However, St. Paul Academy has also lost to the other two ranked teams on its schedule, falling 3-1 at No. 4-1A Mahtomedi and 4-1 at No. 9-1A Duluth Denfeld.

Tuesday night’s game at No. 5-1A Breck (8-4-0) is a chance to make a big statement against an Independent Metro Athletic Conference favorite. The Mustangs have lost to one Class 2A team, Centennial, and three of the four teams ranked ahead of them in Class 1A (No. 2-1A Duluth Marshall, No. 3-1A East Grand Forks and No. 4-1A Mahtomedi). Since losing to Mahtomedi on Dec. 9, coach Les Larson’s squad has allowed just three goals in six games, all started by goaltender Stephen Headrick (8-4-0, 1.50, .924).