November 30, 2013
This is grainy video of a fight between Portland's Adam De Champlain and Spokane's Carter Proft. It looks to be a pretty routine bout, between Proft, who is as close to a dedicated facepuncher as you can get (10 points, 61 PIMs, 7 fighting majors) and De Champlain, who was a much more active fighter last season with 17 scraps per hockeyfights.net, but he just has 3 a quarter of the way through the campaign this season.
Nothing is out of the ordinary during the tussle, which is just your standard bout between players in similar weight classes and fighting experience. Afterwards though, De Champlain tries to take an extra shot at Proft, and in the penalty box, attempts to show the referee some evidence that Proft bit him during the scrap.
The video isn't exactly clear, and details from the game are scarce, so it is difficult to tell. If you watch the video up to the 29 second mark, you'd probably agree that De Champlain is getting the better of Proft in the scrap. At that point, though, Proft connects with a surprise left handed jab and De Champlain is knocked down, and Proft gets control and "wins" the fight.
It's rare to see both captains congregate in one of the penalty boxes when penalties are being assessed, and it's also rare to see it take this long to hand out fighting majors to both players. The play-by-play announcer speculates immediately that Proft bit De Champlain, which is why De Champlain appeared to be so angry at the end of the fight.
Again, details are scarce, and the recap of the game from The Spokesman doesn't mention the incident at all (probably because the subject matter of the story is a hockey game). Does De Champlain have a case here? If a bite occurred, it was probably between the 27 and 29-second mark, where Proft is in a very vulnerable position, fight-wise. Something compromises that, and Proft knocks him down with a jab rather easily. Neither of the officials could conclusively say a bite happened and punish Proft accordingly, so both players were hit with five-minute fighting majors.
Thankfully, cooler heads did prevail later in the game, and no more major penalties were handed out (or misconducts) for the rest of the game, even as the Winterhawks pulled away in the end. These teams have a bit of a history of punching each other hard in the face, and you hate to see an event like this overshadow Mitch Holmberg's and Oliver Bjorkstrand's duelling hat-tricks in this game.