The Battle for the St. Paul Cup returns for a second season with a new home and a larger purpose.
Highland Park and Johnson, the last two remaining St. Paul Public School boys' hockey programs, meet at 7 p.m. on Jan. 2 at TRIA Rink in downtown St. Paul.
The winning team takes home the traveling trophy – a pewter cup purchased in Scotland – but the game is also about supporting others through hockey.
The Scots and Governors JV programs play at 3:15 p.m. followed at 5:30 p.m. by a game featuring the capital city's fire and police departments.
Players' custom jerseys will be included in a silent auction with all proceeds being donated to the Minnesota Wild's Blind Hockey program.
Created this year by Minnesota Hockey, in partnership with the Minnesota Wild, the blind hockey program is open to players of all ages with visual impairments.
Opportunity to play the game resonates with Highland Park hockey, which vanished as a stand-alone varsity program after 1987. The varsity program returned in 2010-11, an unprecedented achievement.
The Scots also include players from St. Paul Central High School. Johnson includes players from Como Park.
Johnson won both meetings against Highland Park last year and captured a trophy that binds the programs. Jay O'Neill, a Johnson graduate, purchased the cup in Scotland.