IT WAS 19 YEARS AGO TODAY…
The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins played the first home contest in team history on November 13, 1999. It was an exciting night at a packed Northeastern Pennsylvania Civic Arena and Convention Center (what a mouthful!), as the fans witnessed their team post a 4-2 win over the Kentucky Thoroughblades.
To commemorate the eventful evening, we’ve put together this quick look back at the inaugural home opener. Enjoy these notes and nuggets, as well as a brief video review of the game.
- The Penguins played their first 13 games on the 1999-2000 season on the road while construction was being completed on the arena.
- Due to several call ups by the Pittsburgh Penguins, Mike Parson, a former goaltender who was then a member of the Guelph Storm’s coaching staff, suited up as the backup to goaltender David Wenninger. Parson hadn’t appeared in a professional game since the 19995-96 season with the Johnstown Chiefs.
- Greg Crozier netted the first goal in arena history at 3:24 of the first period. Dennis Bonvie and Valentin Morozov assisted on the score.
- Mike Pomichter’s game-winning goal was the only goal he would tally for the Penguins. He posted three points (1+2) in 16 games with the team. It was also the final goal of his AHL career.
- Tom Kostopoulos wore jersey number 15 with no name during the contest. Kostopoulos had held out to start the regular season, and with the team on the road for several weeks, his regular 25 home jersey wasn’t ordered in time.
- Dennis Bonvie was ejected from the game after a hard hit on Shawn Heins 4:12 into the game. Bonvie was issued an elbowing major and a game misconduct.
- Three future Pittsburgh Penguins – Heins, Matt Bradley and Johan Hedberg – all suited up for Kentucky.
- The first goal allowed by the Penguins on home ice was a shorthanded goal by Scott Hannan at 16:49 of the first period.
- The Penguins managed just two shots on goal in the second period, and 17 overall on the night.
- The Thoroughblades recorded 120 penalty minutes on the night, with 50 of those coming after the final buzzer.
- Forty of the Penguins 89 penalty minutes came after the game had officially ended.
- In all there were 10 game misconducts in the contest (WBS – 4, KEN – 6)
VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: (Click Here If Video Does Not Show Up Below)
The Penguins will return to their home ice next Friday, Nov. 16, in what promises to be a heated head-to-head with the Charlotte Checkers. Game time between the Penguins and Checkers is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza.
Individual tickets for Wilkes-Barre/Scranton home games can be purchased at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza box office, through all Ticketmaster outlets, or by contacting the Penguins’ offices at (570) 208-7367.
Season ticket packages for the 20th season of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins hockey, including 22-game, 12-game and Flexbook plans, are available by reaching out to the Penguins directly at (570) 208-7367.
Fans can also keep up with the Penguins through the AHL’s brand new high definition streaming service, AHLTV. Subscriptions for AHLTV, which include live and archived games, begin at just $79.99 for the entire 2018-19 regular season. Fans can visit theahl.com/AHLTV now to register for a free AHLTV account and purchase 2018-19 subscriptions.