Here's how the final face-off at the Mayor's Cup, Saturday's college hockey game between RPI and their bitter rivals from Union, was supposed to go: the puck would hit the ice and the final seconds would tick off the clock, cementing RPI's 2-1 first victory over Union in four years, thanks to Mike Zalewski’s go-ahead goal with 3:38 remaining. Then, the two teams would spill out onto the ice for the customary, sportsmanlike, post-game handshakes.
What happened instead: the puck hit the ice, RPI got their win, and then the two teams spilled out not to show sportsmanship, but to beat the snot out of one another. NOT A SINGLE HAND WAS SHAKEN. Even the coaches got into this massive melee:
What a hit by number 20 at the thirteen-second mark.
But of course, this isn't just some ho-hum brawl. Brawls levelled up last week when John Tortorella tried to punch his way through the Flames' hallway like Oh Dae-su in Oldboy. Now it's hardly even worth mentioning an incident unless the coaches also get into it.
These two totally did.
Just as the officials start getting the players under control, the action shifts to the other side of the playing surface, where Union coach Rick Bennett is attempting to get at RPI coach Seth Appert. Fortunately, they're protected both by their wingtips, which only allow them to shuffle menacingly towards one another, and their players, who form a barrier.
After the game, neither coach would elaborate on what started all this, but if I could hazard a guess: they both think it was the other guy.
In the end, 125 minutes in meaningless post-game penalties were assessed, and four players -- Union center Eli Lichtenwald and defenseman (and captain) Mat Bodie, and RPI center Mike Zalewski and defenseman Luke Curadi -- were suspended for one game.
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