The 20th Anniversary of the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre
A few things come to mind when most people think about St. Patrick’s Day – shamrocks, leprechauns, and parades are just a few iconic examples. However, for the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins, and likely many long-time AHL fans, we think of something a little different when we think about this holiday. Sure, we enjoy all the local activities and look forward to our annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration game, but one memory of the day stands out. The St. Patrick’s Day Massacre is an infamous moment in our team’s past and is quickly approaching its 20th anniversary.
Were you one of the 8,373 who attended the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre? If you had tickets to this game, you likely still remember the evening well. Maybe you weren’t following us yet or were too young to remember the event. If you want a breakdown of the fight that went down at the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre, we have a detailed blow-by-blow. Here’s some more information about this event that took place two decades ago.
When Was the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre?
When the St. Patrick’s Day massacre occurred, the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins had only been around for a short while. The fight happened on March 17, 2002, when we were only in our third season in a home game against the Syracuse Crunch. While fights and penalties aren’t uncommon in any hockey game, this game is more memorable than most. This game ended with a total of 286 minutes in penalties between the two teams, 162 for the WBS Penguins and 124 Syracuse Crunch. This many penalty minutes in a game was a new team record for the Penguins.
The St. Patrick’s Day Massacre fight involved multiple players from each team. This includes John Jakopin, Darcy Verot, Jason MacDonald, and Steve Parsons of the WBS Penguins and Brad Wingfield, David Ling, J. F. Labbe, and Andrei Sryubko of the Syracuse Crunch.
However, while many players were involved and received penalties, the two who many will recognize from this game are Steve Parsons and Brad Wingfield. Parsons still holds the record for the most penalty minutes in one game, with 64 PIM from the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre.
Many fans will recognize the St. Patrick’s Day jerseys we don each year for the holiday, but you won’t find them in some of the most popular images from the 2002 game. During the fight, Parsons and Wingfield removed their jerseys, padding, and t-shirts and brawled on the ice.
Ultimately, the game was an overall loss for the Penguins. The Syracuse Crunch won 4-0, but despite the loss, this is a game that many still think about 20 years later.
Come Out for Our Upcoming St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
March 17th, 2022, will be 20 years since the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre. While we don’t have a game directly on the holiday this year, we will be having our annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on March 19th. It’s only fitting that this game would again be against the Syracuse Crunch. The St. Patrick’s Day Massacre is long in the past, and we know everyone will enjoy a great evening as we play against the Syracuse Crunch at one of our favorite games of the year.
Order your tickets for our St. Patrick’s Day Celebration game today!
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