Hockey Fights in the UK
In case you haven’t see it yet, here’s video of the bench-clearing brawl between the Nottingham Panthers and Coventry Blaze of the Elite Ice Hockey League in the UK.
It all started following the ref calling both a tripping penalty and diving on the same play. It was great to hear the English commentators perplexed at how you can call both.
After being escorted to the box Brad Cuikshank of Coventry apparently makes an obscene gesture toward the ref and is tossed from the game (out of shot @ 1:00 mark you see the ref react). On his way off the ice, Cruikshank decides to jump the Nottingham goalie. And as one would expect, all hell breaks loose.
Nottingham is alleging that the attack of Nottingham netminder, Craig Kowalski, was premeditated.
“We maintain the manner of the deliberate, pre-meditated assault on Craig Kowalski was anything but tit-for-tat,” said a Nottingham Panther spokesperson. “Instructions to ‘get’ Kowalski were overheard and Cruickshank himself said before the incident he was happy to take a five game suspension and the Nottingham back-up should get ready because he was going to get to play.”
The two teams combined for 235 PIMs and a total of 29 games in suspensions. Nottingham is a little miffed that they received 17 games in suspensions versus the 12 handed out to Coventry, who instigated the entire melee. This appears to be because Nottingham had a couple more players in the penalty box at the time who left when the action started.
FYI – Theoren Fleury played for the Belfast Giants of the same league in the 2005-06 season.
Final note: Love that they have the Canadian flag hung from the scoreboard.