Logan Millican spent 12 minutes in the penalty box on Thursday night.
Extra words after a whistle late in the first period cost the state's leading scorer a 10-minute major, but the Bottineau-Rugby forward's night was far from over.
Minot trailed 3-1 and was gaining momentum early in the third period, but Millican jumped on a misplayed puck by Minot sophomore Quinn Fuchs and blasted a high shot from the right wing into the net.
Minot High School junior goalie Jake Luedke makes a save in the second period of Thursday's West Region game at Maysa Arena. Bottineau-Rugby sophomore Harrison Aide (16) anticipates a rebound.
The short-handed goal squashed any chance of a Minot comeback, as did the Magicians' inability to keep five men on the ice for any extended amount of time in the final period. The Braves (13-1 West Region, 16-4 overall) swept the season series with a 5-1 win at Maysa Arena. A win tonight over Bismarck Century - by more than one goal in regulation - will give the Braves the top seed in the West Region tournament. Minot (8-5, 11-10) will be the fourth seed.
"We were just moving the puck and we were going really hard," Millican said.
Both teams stayed aggressive through three periods, totaling 26 penalty minutes each. Minot's lone goal came on a power play in the first period. Sam Ebert fired a low shot from just inside the blue line to beat Bottineau-Rugby senior goalie Cody Brooks.
Minot coach Chad Burckhard said his team was too mistake-prone to build on Ebert's goal.
"They capitalize on mistakes," Burckhard said. "Their transition game's pretty good, their transition offense especially.
"We made a couple mistakes, gave up odd-man rushes to Millican, one of the premier players in our region. We for sure gave him way too many chances and were lucky he missed the net a couple times or it would've been a little worse."
Bottineau-Rugby coach David Hoff was pleased to get another four-goal win over the Magicians, but said players made it tough on themselves with all their penalties.
Minot "made it real tough on us tonight," Hoff said. "They played well. I thought (Jake) Luedke played well for them. (Cody) Brooks kept us in it there for awhile because they really had us back on our heels.
"It was a different game up in Bottineau. In Bottineau, I thought we controlled the play more than we did tonight. Tonight, we were just fortunate to make a few more plays at the net."
Luedke, Minot's junior goalie, had a strong second period with 18 saves on 19 shots. Brooks was as impressive throughout the game and gave up very few rebounds, especially in the second period when he stopped all 14 shots he faced.