November 13, 1999 is one of the most historic dates in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins history. That’s the day the team finally came home.
After starting the inaugural season on the road for the first 13 games while building construction was finished, the Penguins finally broke the ice in NEPA by hosting the Kentucky Thoroughblades at the then-named Northeastern Pennsylvania Civic Arena and Convention Center.
After posting a 1-9-3-0David Weninger m mark away from home, the Penguins thrilled a capacity crowd with big goals, big saves, and an even bigger hit that cemented Dennis Bonive’s legacy in his Luzerne County debut.
Some quick facts from the game:
- Greg Crozier tallied the first goal at 3:24 of the first period.
- Scott Hannan recorded the first opposition goal at 16:49 of the first period.
- David Weninger picked up the win in net for the Penguins. The 1999-2000 season was his lone year playing professional hockey.
- Future Pittsburgh Penguins goaltender Johan Hedberg was between the pipes for Kentucky.
- Tom Kostopoulos wore #25 during his rookie season with the Penguins (captain Tyler Wright wore #29 that season), but wore #15 for the home opener with no name plate. This was due to the future Penguins captain signing late with the team, and the club’s equipment staff ordering his home jersey late.