It's impossible for UND hockey players to escape the history of the program.
The moment they walk into the locker room, they go down a hallway that has every jersey the program has worn. Then, they walk by all eight NCAA national championship trophies. Other walls list NHL players, draft picks, Stanley Cup champions and Olympians the program has produced.
When UND players got to the rink Saturday, they were greeted by assistant coach Karl Goehring and volunteer assistant Jason Ulmer, who gave them a lesson on the 2000 NCAA national championship team. Goehring was the starting goalie on that squad. Ulmer was one of the leading scorers.
That 2000 team added to the program's rich history by winning its seventh national title. They celebrated the 20-year anniversary of that feat Saturday night in Ralph Engelstad Arena, while watching the current team add another piece of history, too.
UND beat Alabama Huntsville 5-2 in the series finale, marking the team's 13th consecutive home victory. That broke the record for the longest home winning streak in Ralph Engelstad Arena, which opened in 2001.
"That's special," said UND defenseman Matt Kiersted, who had two assists in the game. "We talk about adding to the tradition here. That's what we did tonight. I think we've got a long way to go with this team. We can break more records. We can do something pretty special this year. So, that's just the start."
Westin Michaud scored on a deflection, Collin Adams on a snipe, Jordan Kawaguchi on a stunning between-the-legs move, Ethan Frisch on the first of his career and Shane Pinto into an empty net after traveling back from the Czech Republic to move the Fighting Hawks to 16-1-2 on the season.
The home winning streak began last year with a two-game sweep of Omaha in the regular-season finale.
It has continued this season as UND has reeled off 11 straight wins.
The Fighting Hawks have swept Canisius, Bemidji State, Miami, St. Cloud State and Alabama Huntsville in two-game series. They also beat Michigan Tech in the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Game.
There have been several close calls, threatening the winning run.
UND won three overtime games in that span -- one each against Omaha, Bemidji State and St. Cloud State. It also beat Michigan Tech on a goal late in the third period.
On Saturday, Huntsville erased a 2-0 UND lead with back-to-back goals late in the first and early in the second, but the Fighting Hawks responded with a second-period goal by Kawaguchi and third-period tallies by Frisch and Pinto.
Previously, the longest home winning streak in The Ralph was 12 games, set during the 2015-16 national championship season and the 2016-17 season that followed.
"It's a pretty nice honor," UND coach Brad Berry said. "Obviously, a great team award to do that. I think our focus was just trying to get the win and get the sweep and finish our nonconference record 9-1-1. It's another nice accolade to set a record and we'll try to keep going in that regard."
Berry awarded the game puck to longtime Grand Forks Herald college hockey writer Virg Foss, who has covered the sport for more than 50 years and was recognized for his achievements before the game.
Only two teams in college are still perfect at home this season: UND (11-0) and Cornell (4-0). Maine (7-0-2) is unbeaten at home but has tied twice.
The 13-game home winning streak is the longest since UND won 17 straight in 1990.
The Fighting Hawks will try to inch closer to that mark next weekend when they host Omaha in a two-game series (7:37 p.m. Friday, 7:07 p.m. Saturday).
"Obviously, we're very lucky to play in a place like this with the tradition that we have," Kawaguchi said. "Now, we're going to be a part of UND history forever. We feel very fortunate."
UND 5, Huntsville 2
First period -- 1. UND, Westin Michaud 8 (Matt Kiersted 11) 4:54; 2. UND, Collin Adams 6 (Jordan Kawaguchi 18, Kiersted 12) 9:08 (pp); 3. UAH, Connor Merkley 3 (Jack Jeffers 5, Peyton Francis 2) 13:02
Second period -- 4. UAH, Austin Beaulieu 2 (Josh Latta 9) 1:05; 5. UND, Kawaguchi 10 (Grant Mismash 8, Jonny Tychonick 5) 3:51
Third period -- 6. UND, Ethan Frisch 1 (Adams 12, Tychonick 6) 3:10; 7. UND, Shane Pinto 9 (Cole Smith 3, Gavin Hain 4) 19:40 (en)
Penalties -- Austin Beaulieu, UAH, tripping, 8:33 first; Connor James, UAH, cross-checking, 17:18 first; Connor Wood, UAH, tripping, 18:07 first
Goalie saves -- UND: Adam Scheel 4-1-6 -- 11; UAH: Mark Sinclair 11-12-10 -- 33
Penalties-minutes -- UND 1-2, UAH 5-10
Power plays -- UND 1-5, UAH 0-1
Attendance -- 11,760
Referees -- Scott Bokal and Tom Sterns
Linesmen -- Andy Dokken and Tyler Liffrig