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An Igloo Runs Through It: “Lights Out.”

A lot of other sites are doing stories about the Mellon Arena. And we can't resist.
So if you have a favorite memory of Mellon Arena, send it to us, and we'll post it.
Even if it isn't from a Penguin game, send it through.
 
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  • Put "IGLOO" in the subject line.
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  • By sending us a story, you are agreeing that we can use it for anything.
This one is from BOB P.  (zarley):
 
"March 19, 2006.
 
It was my senior year in high school.  I probably could (and would) have student rushed every home game that season if my high school gave us student IDs.  Some said I could use a report card, but whatev.  I know someone with season tickets, so I still made it to every game he couldn't (close to 20 in 05/06).
 
On this particular night, however, I got tickets in C11 from my high school calculus teacher (awesome).  Pens vs. Maple Leafs.  Always a good time when a horde of belligerent Leafs fans come to town.
 
It was figuring to be another shitty game, with the Pens tied 0-0 with the Leafs midway into the 2nd period.  All of a sudden with 7 minutes to go in the 2nd, the arena goes dark.  Lights out.  The whistle blows.  The crowd gasps.  Some kid probably pisses his pants.  The guy that just bought nachos is livid.  No idea what the players did, I couldn't see my hand in front of my face.  Can't imagine it'd be easy skating in the dark.  Some backup generator lights came on shortly, but it was still too dim to play hockey.
 
Then it happened.  No idea where it came from.  It started faint then grew stronger.  "New arena!  clap clap clapclapclap."  Over, and over, and over.  Even the Leafs fans were saying it.  Those words would resonate through me the rest of the game.  When the lights went out, I no longer cared if the Pens won or lost that game.  They sure as shit weren't making the playoffs that season.  As a Pens fan, this event transcended the game by sending a message to everyone: the NHL, the city of Pittsburgh, our ownership group, the cotton candy guy.

Keep in mind that at this time, there was still no set plans for a new arena.  Isle of Capri was promising to pay for a new one if they got the Pittsburgh casino license.  The other two in the running weren't.   There was no guarantee that we'd have a hockey team in a few seasons.  Scary times as a Pens fan.  Never want to go through that again.

After going dark for a second time (said to be an electrical fire later), the game finally resumed.  Scuderi (in pre-legend form) trips Chad Kilger on a semi-breakaway and Kilger gets a penalty shot.  Goal.  1-0 finish.

In the grand scheme, the chant I participated in that night really didn't do anything.  In a time of uncertainty, it felt like we could make a difference.  Thousands of people chanting for a new home for the team they love.  It was probably the most chilling moment I've ever witnessed inside the Mellon."
 
 

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