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PNC Arena has seen a lot of great hockey and basketball moments. We rank the top 20.

In honor of PNC Arena’s 20th anniversary, we’ve ranked the venue’s top 10 hockey and top 10 basketball moments.

Top 10 hockey moments

1. Winning the Cup

June 19, 2006

The biggest single moment in Hurricanes franchise history came in the 3-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup finals. Rod Brind’Amour’s ecstatic face said it all as the Canes captain raised the Cup.

2. The first game

Oct. 29, 1999

There’s only one first time and the arena officially opened for business with a Canes game against the New Jersey Devils, albeit a 4-2 loss.

3. The first win

Nov. 7, 1999

There’s only one first victory in the arena and that came against the Washington Capitals, Jeff O’Neill deciding a 3-2 game with the winning goal.

4. The longest game

June 8, 2002

It was the first-ever Stanley Cup finals game played in the arena and some thought it might never end. It went into a third overtime period before a goal by Igor Larionov won it 3-2 for the Detroit Red Wings.

5. The stars come out

Jan. 30, 2011

Capping a successful NHL All-Star Weekend that showcased Raleigh and the Triangle, the All-Star Game had “Team Staal” -- with the Canes’ Eric Staal, Cam Ward and Jeff Skinner -- losing 11-10 to “Team Lidstrom” headed by the Red Wings’ Nicklas Lidstrom.

6. Beating Brodeur

April 21, 2009

Did the goal count? Yes, it did. The Canes beat the New Jersey Devils and future Hall of Fame goalie Martin Brodeur in Game 4 of their first-round playoff series on a last-second shot by Dennis Seidenberg that nicked the skate of the Canes’ Jussi Jokinen in front of the crease.

7. The drought ends

April 15, 2019

For the first time in a decade, Stanley Cup playoff hockey was back in Raleigh, back in the arena. Warren Foegele had the first of five Canes goals as Carolina beat the Caps 5-0 in Game 3 of their first-round series.

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8. Jersey raising

Jan. 28, 2006

There are three jerseys that have been retired by the Canes. The first was Ron Francis’ No. 10 in 2006, honoring the former captain whose free-agent signing gave the franchise credibility. Later, Glen Wesley (No. 2) and Rod Brind’Amour (No. 17) would have their special nights.

9. A playoff win

April 18, 2001

The first playoff victory in the arena came with the Canes trailing the New Jersey Devils 3-0 in their first-round series. The Canes were 3-2 winners in Game 4, an overtime victory. The winning goal: from Rod Brind’Amour.

10. Hosting the Draft

June 26, 2004

The Canes had 15,672 fans in the arena for the first day of the NHL Entry Draft, said to be the largest draft crowd in more than a decade. The No. 1 overall pick: forward Alexander Ovechkin, by the Caps.

Top 10 basketball moments

1. Down goes Duke

Feb. 15, 2004

NC State 78, No. 1 Duke 74

Duke was in N.C. State’s way in the ACC tournament championship game in 2002 and again in 2003. The Wolfpack lost both games and a mid-January trip to Cameron Indoor Stadium earlier in the 2003-04 season.

Julius Hodge, Marcus Melvin and a veteran N.C. State team for coach Herb Sendek had finally had enough of the Blue Devils and J.J. Redick.

Melvin and Hodge each finished with 18 points for N.C. State’s second win in 18 tries against Duke and coach Mike Krzyzewski.

The Wolfpack made its final 12 free-throw attempts, with Hodge’s free throws with 7 seconds left sealing N.C. State’s first win over a No. 1 ranked team in the arena.

2. The TJ Warren/Marcus Paige game

Feb. 26, 2014

UNC 85, NC State 84

The ACC expanded to 15 teams before the 2013-14 season but N.C. State and North Carolina got together for an old-fashioned ACC classic.

N.C. State’s T.J. Warren, who would go on to be the league’s player of the year, scored 36 points. UNC guard Marcus Paige, after only scoring four points in the first half, turned the second half into a duel with Warren.

Back and forth the two went, to the delight of an electric PNC Arena crowd, until Paige’s runner with 0.9 seconds left in overtime gave him 35 points and the Tar Heels a one-point win.

3. A legend is born

March 21, 2008

NCAA tournament, Davidson 82, Gonzaga 76

Now Stephen Curry is a household name, after winning the NBA’s MVP award twice this decade and helping the Golden State Warriors win three NBA titles.

But in 2008, Curry was an undersized sophomore guard at Davidson and better known as the son of Charlotte Hornets 3-point specialist Dell Curry.

Curry’s legend was born with a breakout performance in the 2008 NCAA tournament. He scored 40 points in the first-round win over Gonzaga, 30 in the second half. Curry made eight 3-pointers in the Wildcats’ first NCAA tournament win since 1969.

For an encore, he scored 30 in a 74-70 upset of No. 2 seed Georgetown to push the Wildcats into the Sweet 16. Curry nearly pushed Davidson past Kansas and into the Final Four but came up two points short.

4. Roll Pack

Jan. 12, 2013

NC State 84, No. 1 Duke 76

Forward C.J. Leslie had 25 points during N.C. State’s upset of top-ranked Duke but he didn’t have any assists. He saved that for after the game when N.C. State student Will Privette got knocked out of his wheelchair during the court-storming celebration. In the middle of the chaos, Leslie scooped up Privette and got him safely back in his chair.

Three days later, Leslie and Privette went on NBC’s “Today” show and “Roll Pack” T-shirts were a hot commodity.

Forward Richard Howell had 16 points and 18 rebounds, while guard Lorenzo Brown had 13 assists to hand Duke its first loss of the season after a 15-0 start.

5. The red jacket

Feb. 3, 2007

NC State 83, No. 4 UNC 79

Sidney Lowe decided to pay homage to his first N.C. State coach, Norm Sloan, and his own Wolfpack roots by wearing a bright red jacket for his first home game against North Carolina.

Lowe’s team also decided to pay homage to some of Sloan’s best teams from the 1970s by handling the Tar Heels in a charged environment. Guard Courtney Fells made four 3-pointers and scored 21 points while forward Brandon Costner added 15 points and 11 rebounds.

It was N.C. State’s first win over UNC since 2003 and first over UNC coach Roy Williams.

6. Memorable birthday present

Jan. 20, 2010

NC State 88, No. 7 Duke 74

Duke would win the national title in 2010 but the Blue Devils lost their only matchup with N.C. State that season.

Wolfpack forward Tracy Smith celebrated his 22nd birthday with 23 points in a win over the Blue Devils. He made 10 of 12 shots and N.C. State shot 58.2 percent as a team.

Guards Javi Gonzalez (15 points, eight assists) and Farnold Degand (11 points, six assists) kept pace with Duke’s backcourt of Nolan Smith and Jon Scheyer while forward Dennis Horner added 20 points for N.C. State.

7. Winning debut

Nov. 19, 1999

NC State 67, Georgia 63

The first college basketball game at the Entertainment and Sports Arena was in doubt until the final minute. Guard Archie Miller’s 3-pointer with 58 seconds left broke a 63-63 tie.

Miller, now the coach at Indiana, only made one other field goal in a cold-shooting night for coach Herb Sendek’s team but N.C. State was able to erase a 12-point deficit to christen the arena with a win.

8. Mercer upsets Duke

March 21, 2014

NCAA tournament, No. 14 seed Mercer 78, No. 3 seed Duke 71

Duke’s first-round exit to Lehigh, and NBA star C.J. McCollum, in Greensboro in 2012 is more often remembered but the Mercer Bears took down the Blue Devils in the Round of 64 in 2014.

Mercer, the Atlantic Sun champions with five seniors in their starting lineup, shot 58 percent in the second half to shock the third-seeded Blue Devils. Duke star freshman Jabari Parker made just four of his 14 shots for the Blue Devils.

9. Chandler Parsons’ miracle

Jan. 3, 2010

Florida 62, NC State 61

N.C. State started the 2009-10 season with a 10-3 record, including wins over Marquette and Auburn. Coach Sidney Lowe was 2.6 seconds, and a free throw by guard Farnold Degand, from adding Florida to the Wolfpack’s promising resume.

Degand made his first free throw, to put N.C. State up 61-59, but missed the second off the front of the rim. Florida guard Chandler Parsons grabbed the rebound, dribbled twice and then took a running 75-footer.

The shot swished straight threw the net for a 62-61 Florida win. Lowe’s fourth team would finish the season in the NIT.

10. Karl Hess drama

Feb. 18, 2012

Florida State 76, NC State 62

Referees are rarely popular with N.C. State fans but Karl Hess set a new standard for scorn when he decided to have former Wolfpack stars Chris Corchiani and Tom Gugliotta escorted from their seats behind the scorer’s table during the second half.

Corchiani and Gugliotta were complaining about some of Hess’ calls but didn’t curse or threaten him. The game, one of the few during coach Mark Gottfried’s first season in 2011-12 when N.C. State wasn’t competitive, was secondary to the circus Hess created with his unilateral decision.

Hess was reprimanded by the ACC for failing to follow protocol and then didn’t work another N.C. State game until 2014, when he gave Gottfried an early technical foul in a one-point loss to Wofford at Reynolds Coliseum.

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In more than 30 years at The N&O, Chip Alexander has covered the N.C. State, UNC, Duke and East Carolina beats, and now is in his 11th season on the Carolina Hurricanes beat. Alexander, who has won numerous writing awards at the state and national level, covered the Hurricanes’ move to North Carolina in 1997 and was a part of The N&O’s coverage of the Canes’ 2006 Stanley Cup run.
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