For all of the great teams that have come through Ralph Engelstad Arena since it opened in 2001, only once has there been a longer home winning streak than the current one.
UND won its eighth-straight home game — a streak that dates back to last season — on Friday night with a 7-1 thrashing of Miami in its National Collegiate Hockey Conference opener.
The home winning streak in The Ralph — which sits solely behind a 12-game run that spanned the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons — was just one eye-popping statistic that the Fighting Hawks put in the books Friday.
There were so many others, so let's run them down:
1. Jasper Weatherby and Jacob Bernard-Docker, who entered the weekend ranked No. 1 and 2 in the NCHC in most shots without a goal this season, scored the first two goals of the game. Their goals both came on the power play, which broke an 0-for-16 slump with the man advantage and marked UND’s first game with multiple power-play goals since Nov. 24, 2018 — a span of 32 games.
2. Sophomore defenseman Jonny Tychonick, who had one career goal in 33 games, scored twice in 33 seconds in the second period. Tychonick finished the game with three points, one shy of what he tallied all of his freshman season.
3. Collin Adams, who had two goals last season, matched that total with a first-period snipe from the right circle. After finishing in dead last on the team in plus-minus for the past two seasons, Adams now leads not only UND but the entire NCHC in plus-minus at plus-10. He has yet to be on the ice for an opponent goal this season. The only three players in the nation with a better plus-minus than Adams right now: Notre Dame defenseman Nate Clurman (plus-12), Wisconsin forward Roman Ahcan (plus-12) and Providence forward Greg Printz (plus-11).
4. Dixon Bowen, who had three goals last season, surpassed that total by scoring No. 4 of the year -- a wrist shot on a breakaway in the second period to put UND ahead 4-0.
5. Westin Michaud also scored his fourth goal of the year to keep pace with Bowen as the team’s leading goal scorer.
6. Forward Jordan Kawaguchi had three primary assists in the span of 2:02 on UND's first three goals of the game for his second three-point game of the season, while defenseman Matt Kiersted also tallied three assists for his first-career three-point game.
7. Even rookie Ethan Frisch got in on the action with his first-career point, a second-period assist. That means only four non-goalies on the roster have yet to tally a point this season: Casey Johnson (four games played), Josh Rieger (two games), Zach Yon (two games) and Carson Albrecht, who has yet to play.
It all added up to another UND win and a 6-1-1 start — UND’s best through eight games since the 2015-16 NCAA national championship team.
UND will go for its third sweep of the season at 7:07 p.m. Saturday in the final game of UND's five-game homestand. The Fighting Hawks are perfect on it so far.
“This is the best building in college hockey, maybe all of hockey,” Kiersted said. “So, when you come out and play in front of your fans, it’s a little extra boost for you. I think we’ve been playing well here. I think it’s a big thing due to the fans.”
Only three college hockey teams have a longer active home winning streak than UND: UMass (14 games), Harvard (10) and Notre Dame (nine).
"I think it starts with the fan base, they're unbelievable," Tychonick said. "We had (10,425) tonight. It's a great atmosphere. They're all engaged and it kind of feeds into our energy. So, that's really important, that crowd kind of gives us that energy to keep winning and keep playing the right way."
UND leads nation in goal differential
So much has changed from last season for UND, especially on offense.
Remember what a painstaking challenge it was to score for the Fighting Hawks, who finished 42nd in the nation in offense?
Through eight games this season, the Fighting Hawks have chased their opponent's starting goalie to the bench three times. They did it to Miami's Ryan Larkin after 25 minutes, 31 seconds Friday. Larkin, a senior, allowed five goals on 17 shots before giving way to Grant Valentine.
Remember how UND rarely got scoring from its depth?
That's changed, too. UND has been remarkably balanced. That's illustrated by this fact: The leading goal scorers are Bowen (four) and Michaud (four). Its leading point-getter is Kawaguchi (10). All three players are on different lines.
"I think everybody's contributing," UND coach Brad Berry said. "When you really look at the scoring of our team, everybody's contributed and everybody wants a piece of it. I think it's just doing the details on a nightly basis of trying to finish plays, which we talked about a lot this summer and coming into the fall."
And just like last season, UND has continued to be strong defensively.
The Fighting Hawks and goalie Adam Scheel (21 saves) allowed just a single goal for the fourth-straight game in Friday's win over Miami. For the season, UND is allowing 1.38 goals per game.
The combination of UND's emerging offense and strong defense has led to a goal differential of plus-23, which is the best in the nation. The next three teams behind them in that category are the top-three ranked teams in the nation: Minnesota State-Mankato (plus-22), Denver (plus-20) and UMass (plus-18).
"I think the most important thing is we're doing the right things in the o-zone," Tychonick said. "We've been working a lot in practice on stopping at nets and finishing plays and finishing pucks out and it's really paying off right now. I mean, the pucks are going in and it's that puck luck. The Hockey Gods are on our side right now."
UND 7, MIAMI 1
First period — 1. UND, Jacob Bernard-Docker 1 (Jordan Kawaguchi 6, Matt Kiersted 3) 14:14 (pp); 2. UND, Jasper Weatherby 1 (Kawaguchi 7, Kiersted 4) 15:33 (pp); 3. Collin Adams 2 (Kawaguchi 8) 16:16
Second period — 4. UND, Dixon Bowen 4 (Kiersted 5, Ethan Frisch 1) 2:07; 5. UND, Jonny Tychonick 2 (Harrison Blaisdell 3, Shane Pinto 4) 5:35; 6. UND, Tychonick 3 (Colton Poolman 4, Westin Michaud 2) 6:08
Third period — 7. UND, Michaud 4 (Tychonick 2, Blaisdell 4) 2:20; 8. MIA, Noah Jordan 2 (Grant Frederic 1, Rourke Russell 3) 2:57
Penalties — Derek Daschke, MIA, unsportsmanlike conduct, 1:20 first; Kiersted, UND, roughing, 1:20 first; Chase Pletzke, MIA, hooking, 6:16 first; Monte Graham, MIA, hooking, 13:13 first; Jack Clement, MIA, hooking, 13:54 first; Cole Smith, UND, interference, 17:14 first; Grant Mismash, UND, interference, 14:16 third; Bray Crowder, MIA, tripping, 15:37 third
Goalie saves — UND: Adam Scheel 6-10-5 — 21; MIA: Ryan Larkin 12-0-x — 12 (5 GA), Grant Valentine x-5-4 — 9 (2 GA)
Penalties-minutes — UND 3-6, MIA 5-10
Power plays — UND 2-3, MIA 0-2
Attendance — 10,425
Referees — Ryan Hersey and Joe Sullivan
Linesmen — Andy Dokken and Mike Eslinger