MARIO’S COMEBACK

Inside the since-demolished Mellon Arena on this day 18 years ago, sound had feel. Shirt collars and pants legs ruffled because of sheer volume. It was electric.

On Dec. 27, 2000, Mario Lemieux came out of retirement.

It was Mellon Arena’s loudest night. It started during the warm-up. Everybody was in their seats. How often does that happen?

It was incredible, and incredible just kept piling up:

*Mario got an assist 33 seconds into the game, a 5-0 win over Toronto.

*Mario finished the night with a goal and two assists.

*On the season, Mario had 35 goals and 41 assists in 43 games.

*Mario finished second in MVP voting.

*The Penguins won two playoff rounds. Mario had six goals and 11 assists in 18 post-season games.

It was like time stood still.

Just when you thought Mario couldn’t provide Pittsburgh with any more great memories, along came Dec. 27, 2000.

The first video is highlights from that night. The second is that game’s opening montage from the “Hockey Night in Canada” broadcast.

 
 
Mark Madden

Mark Madden

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