It's not that Minot was completely inept against one of the more touted programs in the state.
But give the No.1 team in the powerful East Region an inch, and it'll take a mile - or ten.
Grand Forks Red River made the Magicians pay for every mishap in 9-1 non-league shellacking on Saturday night at Maysa Arena.
Minot’s Jake Smith breaks free from Grand Forks Red River’s defense during the Magicians’ 9-1 loss to the top-ranked Roughriders on Saturday night at Maysa Arena.
It was Minot's biggest margin of defeat since falling to the Roughriders 10-2 in the first round of the state tournament a year ago.
"At some point you have to stop the bleeding," Minot coach Chad Burckhard said. "We played with them for the first period but once they started scoring we didn't stop them. This is something we're just hoping to erase from our memories."
The Magicians went toe-to-toe with Red River for most of the first period, trailing just 1-0 before intermission. From there Red River went on a second-period scoring deluge, scoring six of its goals in the frame.
Red River (14-4-1), which features three of the state's top 12 scorers, was paced by Matthew Christian (two goals, assist) and Andrew Norman (two goals).
"We haven't started out games this well all season," Red River coach Bill Chase said. "That's something we've been working on. We just got the pucks to go. Success breeds success when you're scoring like that."
Minot (11-7) was outshot 40-12, but had 14 quality scoring chances. The way Red River's defense was playing, goalie Charlie Churchill needed to come up with just 11 saves.
Hayden Schwarz kept Minot from avoiding a shutout, scoring on a power-play goal early in the third period.
"We need to be able to counter things like that," Burckhard added. "We can't just quit competing."
The Magicians host Williston at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Maysa Arena.