Grand Forks Red River last won an East Region title four years ago.
That 2015-16 Roughriders team went undefeated. This year's version of the Riders is an underdog tale.
Red River, the No. 4 seed from the East Region, used goals from Mason Thingvold and Wyatt LeDuc to beat Fargo South/Shanley 2-0 on Saturday night in the championship game of the region tournament at Purpur Arena.
"Really happy for the kids," Red River first-year coach Mike LaMoine said. "They worked hard. We didn't set our goals until halfway through the season. We had to get to know each other as a team. This was the first step. Very proud of what they accomplished in EDC, and we're going to enjoy this for a little bit and then refocus and get ready for state."
Red River (15-7-2) plays No. 4 West Region seed Jamestown in the first round of state tournament on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the Scheels Center in Fargo.
Fargo South/Shanley, which was looking for its first region title since the 2008-09 season, will play West Region No. 3 Minot High at 2:30 p.m. Thursday in the quarterfinals of the state tournament.
"They're pretty good defensively and they just physically man-handled us in the first two periods," South/Shanley coach Dean French said. "We had to make adjustments in the third period, and we got our chances at the end but we couldn't put them in."
Final shots on goal were 31-12 in favor of the Riders and were 20-5 through two periods.
Thingvold started the scoring at 9 minutes, 44 seconds of the second period, while LeDuc tacked on the insurance goal 50 seconds into the third period.
Red River goalie Nick Antonenko stopped all 12 shots he faced, while South/Shanley goalie Zach Sandy made 29 saves.
"I think it's a belief in the defensive game," LaMoine said to explain his team's defensive prowess. "It's a game we have to play. There's a buy-in from top to bottom throughout the lineup, and they take a lot of pride in that side of the scoreboard."
GF Red River 2,
Fargo South/Shanley 0
Second period -- 1. RR, Mason Thingvold (Jake Grandstrand, Logan Huus) 9:44
Third period -- 2. RR, Wyatt LeDuc (Michael Nottestad) :50
Goalie saves -- RR: Nick Antonenko 2-3-7 -- 12; FSS: Zach Sandy 9-10-10 -- 29