Key Events In The History Of The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins
Since their debut at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in 1999, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins have given area hockey fans plenty of memorable moments over 20 seasons.
With Monday’s announcement that an agreement will keep the team there for another 10 years, here’s a look back at some of the most significant hockey moments in arena history:
• Nov. 13, 1999: After playing their first 13 games on the road, the Penguins win the first home game in team history, 4-2, over the Kentucky Thoroughblades at the Northeastern Pennsylvania Civic Arena and Convention Center.
• Jan. 14-15, 2001: The AHL All-Star Classic, a two-day event featuring the league’s top players, is held at the First Union Arena at Casey Plaza.
• May 21, 2001: The Penguins host a Calder Cup Final game for the first time, falling 4-1 to the St. John Flames. The Penguins would lose the series, 4-2.
• Feb. 20, 2002: The Penguins sell out the arena for the 54th straight game, setting a then-AHL record.
• March 17, 2002: The Penguins and Syracuse Crunch set a new standard for on-ice pugilism, combining for 286 penalty minutes in a game dubbed the “St. Patrick’s Day Massacre.” Many fans consider it the most memorable moment in team history.
• April 25, 2005: Colby Armstrong scores at 12:26 of the third overtime period to give the Penguins a 3-2 win over the Binghamton Senators at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza in what still stands as the longest game in team history.
• Sept. 21, 2005: Future Hockey Hall of Famer Sidney Crosby makes his professional debut in a preseason game against the Boston Bruins held at the arena.
• Oct. 20, 2012: An upgraded Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza makes its regular season debut. Enhancements include a new high-definition video board and remodeled luxury suites.
• Feb. 22, 2014: Two of the most popular players in Penguins history, Dennis Bonvie and Alain Nasreddine, as well as builder Kevin Blaum are honored as the team’s first Hall of Fame Class with a banner inside Mohegan Sun Arena. John Slaney would be inducted two years later.
• Dec. 19, 2019: With the Penguins facing Bridgeport, the arena introduces metal detectors at its entrances as part of measures to increase security. A clear-bag policy would be instituted shortly after.
— TYLER PICCOTTI