For the third time in four years, St. Paul United edged South St. Paul in a closely played Class 1A, Section 4 championship game.
This time, United won 2-1 at Doug Woog Arena in South St. Paul on Thursday night. With the victory, St. Paul United (11-13-2) is headed to its fourth consecutive girl's hockey state tournament.
Senior goaltender Kenzie Giese made 33 saves to key the victory.
"You had to stay laser-focused the entire game, and then as soon as the buzzer went off it was a huge sigh of relief," Giese said.
St. Paul United junior forward Sophia Hoppe scored the game-winner with about 10 minutes left in the game, beating Packers goalie Delaney Norman high on the glove side.
Hoppe's goal came less than two minutes after South St. Paul defenseman Lilie Ramirez tied the score at 1-1.
United senior forward Catherine Kerin scored the first goal of the game on a slap shot about 11 minutes into the second period.
South St. Paul (16-7-3) outshot St. Paul United 34-13, but Giese stayed solid, especially when United played shorthanded on a 5-on-3 Packers power play for 1:44 late in the first period.
"The goaltender played really well, she just really covered things up quick, we didn't get a lot of rebound chances," South St. Paul coach Dave Palmquist said.
"But I was really proud of our team. I feel like we did everything right but win."