BOYS HOCKEY: Fargo South-Shanley qualifies for state with win over Grafton-Park River
James Johannesson got off to a slow start in hockey after leading Fargo South to the North Dakota Class AAA high school football championship last November. The junior is finishing strong for the Fargo South-Shanley hockey team, however. Johannes...
James Johannesson got off to a slow start in hockey after leading Fargo South to the North Dakota Class AAA high school football championship last November.
The junior is finishing strong for the Fargo South-Shanley hockey team, however.
Johannesson scored the Bruins’ first two goals Saturday as South-Shanley blanked Grafton-Park River 3-0 in the loser-out, state-qualifier round of the East Region hockey tournament.
The win advances South-Shanley to this week’s state tournament in Grand Forks as the No. 4 seed from the East. It will be the first state appearance for the fourth-year co-op.
“It took James awhile to recover from the bumps and bruises from football,” South-Shanley coach Wade Storey said of Johannesson, a two-time all-state running back. “But we knew he’d come around.
“He’s probably been our leading scorer over the last 10-12 games.”
Johannesson put the Bruins on the board at 12:02 of the first. He took the puck off the sideboards, skated across to the slot and beat Spoilers goalie Zach Nelson up high.
With 10 seconds left in the second period, Johannesson scored his 10th goal of the season on a long shot from the circle to Nelson’s left.
“He’s got a quick release,” Storey said. “James just lets them rip.”
South-Shanley capped scoring on an open netter from Andrew Blumer with 43 seconds left in the game.
That was plenty of offense for a South-Shanley defense that allowed the Spoilers only 13 shots on goal. Jake Salentine had 11 saves before suffering a cut to his knee in the third period and exiting. Jack Olson finished the shutout with a pair of saves.
“They apply a lot of pressure,” Grafton-Park River coach Scott Petersen said of the Bruins’ defense. “Our guys couldn’t get anything going. They didn’t give our forwards any time once we did get the puck.
“They played great team defense. That shuts down individual players.”
Twice in the second period, Grafton-Park River wasn’t able to get a shot on goal while on power plays.
“Over the course of the year, we haven’t given up a lot of shots,” Storey said. “We’ve done a good job of shutting off the middle.
“We wanted to be aware of where Jade Miller was all the time. He’s a dynamic player.”
Grafton-Park River closed with a 15-8-1 record. South-Shanley takes a 13-10-1 mark to state.