FARGO -- Despite earning the East Region's top seed, Grand Forks Red River entered the North Dakota state boys hockey tournament without a scorer in the state's Top 40.
On Thursday, the Roughriders proved that doesn't mean they're incapable of offensive fireworks.
Red River scored five times in the third period, including two short-handed goals by Jaxon Lian, to roll to an 8-2 state quarterfinals win over West Region No. 4 seed Jamestown on Thursday night at Scheels Arena.
"We've been snake-bit, so it was nice for some guys to get it in the back of the net, and hopefully we can build on that confidence and take that into tomorrow's game," Red River coach Mike LaMoine said. "We used all of our bench, and the effort was good from top to bottom. The boys played hard."
Red River, 16-7-2, plays the winner of Grand Forks Central and Bismarck High in Friday's approximately 8 p.m. semifinal. The Roughriders will play in the semifinals for the fourth time in five years.
Jamestown, 14-10-0, plays the loser of Central-Bismarck High in a consolation-bracket game at approximately 1:30 p.m. in Farmers Union Insurance Center. The Blue Jays were looking for their first quarterfinal victory since 1996.
"The first five, six minutes, there were lots of nerves going on," Jamestown coach Matt Stockert said. "Only four guys in our room had been to the state tournament. After that, we settled in a little bit.
"I didn't like that we didn't create as many opportunities as I'd hoped. Our goal going in was to keep Red River to the outside. We did that. Shots were coming from outside the house. In the second period, same thing and it's a 3-1 hockey game. Things didn't go our way in the third period, that's for sure."
The Riders' offense was relentless, finishing with 55 shots. The Bluejays had 10 shots on goal in the first period but only three shots on goal in the second and third periods combined.
Red River received first-period goals from Justin Wasvick and Mason Thingvold. After Jamestown cut the Red River lead to 2-1 early in the second on a Hunter Nelson power-play goal, Red River defenseman Connor Arel scored on the man advantage to push the lead back to two goals.
"We just kept pounding away," Lian said. "Early on, the goalie was making great saves. We were putting shots on him but not really quality. We started to bear down up front."
The Riders poured it on in the third. Lian scored twice 18 seconds apart, while Grandstrand, Channing LeNoir and Wyatt LeDuc also scored for Red River, which tied its largest offensive output of the season.
Red River goalie Nick Antonenko finished with 11 saves, while Jamestown's Riley Gerhardt, an all-West Region selection, stopped 47 shots including 42 in the first two periods combined.
GF Red River 8,
First period -- 1. RR, Justin Wasvick (Michael Nottestad) 7:04; 2. RR, Mason Thingvold (Jake Grandstrand, Logan Huus) 12:37
Second period -- 3. JHS, Hunter Nelson 3:03; 4. RR, Connor Arel (Thingvold) 8:45
Third period -- 5. RR, Grandstrand (Thingvold) 1:40; 6. RR, Jaxon Lian (Morgan Hoefs, Tanner Bernhardson) 5:52; 7. RR, Lian (Hoefs) 6:10; 8. RR, Channing LeNoir (Wyatt LeDuc) 8:22; 9. RR, LeDuc (Joby Mullen) 9:29; 10. JHS, Nolan Nenow (Jacoby Nold) 15:17
Goalie saves -- RR: Nick Antonenko 10-1-0 -- 11; JHS: Riley Gerhardt 20-22-5 -- 47