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2012 Year in Review: Puck Daddy’s top 11 hockey fights for 2012

Greg Wyshynski
Yahoo Sports

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Why the Top 11 Hockey Fights of 2012?

Well, we asked our official fight guru David Singer of HockeyFights.com to compile his annual list. And there was one fight that just had to make the cut, but he wasn’t about to push out another of the Top 10 fights.

So like a Spinal Tap amp, we go to ‘11’ and for a specific reason – No. 11 is Round 1 for another fight on the list.

Christmas Eve is a time for peace and love, so please join us in our annual tradition of counting down the pain, carnage and brutality of the classic hockey fight.

We have Russian fights, minor league fights, juniors fights and National Hockey League fights. We might also have one that starts during the opening faceoff. Any guess on that one?

[The top five NHL stories of 2012]

Merry Christmas, everyone! Here are David Singer's Top 11 hockey fights of 2012.

And here … we … go.

11. Jon Mirasty vs Trevor Gillies

(KHL) Barys Astana at Vityaz Chekhov, Oct 22, 2012

Gillies, the former New York Islanders pugilist, pummels one of the most notorious fighters in the world in a lopsided KHL affair. Why did this warrant No. 11 on the list? First, because it’s a rousing and unexpected beatdown. But also because it sets up another entry later on …

10. Ryan Reaves vs Brian McGrattan

(NHL) St. Louis Blues at Nashville Predators, Feb 4, 2012

Holy jumpin’ indeed. A combined 460 pounds and two fighters well over 6 foot, this featured some absolute bombs and a victory for Reaves that showed power and instincts.

9. Ryan Carter vs Stu Bickel

(NHL) New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers, Mar 19, 2012

Well, you knew this was making the cut. The off-the-opening-faceoff brawl between the New York Rangers and the New Jersey Devils caused league-wide controversy and increased the intensity of one of the NHL’s greatest rivalries. Said Singer: “Three off the faceoff – fans [expletive] hated that.” Sarcasm be thy name.

8. Joel Rechlicz vs Jimmy Bonneau

(AHL) Portland Pirates at Worcester Sharks, Nov 9, 2012

Sure, they dance a bit at the start, but when they finally start connecting it becomes one of the best marathons of the season, full of momentum changes and feats of stamina. The edge probably goes to the Recker, an AHL fan favourite.

7. Eric Boulton vs Chris Neil

(NHL) New Jersey Devils at Ottawa Senators, Jan 2, 2012

These two have scrapped several times before, going all the way back to 2003. But this one was all Neil, as he gets the right hand loose and does some damage on Boulton, including a pop at the end, before he celebrates to the crowd.

6. Kelsey Wilson vs Zack FitzGerald

(AHL) Toronto Marlies at Hamilton Bulldogs, Jan 21, 2012

No helmets, hockey hair whipping around in the cold Hamilton air during an outdoor Battle of Ontario? The aesthetics alone make this a worthy fight; that Wilson and FitzGerald threw down something wicked landed this on the best of the year list.

5. Nick Tarnasky vs Tye McGinn

(AHL) Rochester Americans at Adirondack Phantoms, Oct 27, 2012

Obviously worth it for the announcer alone. (We hope you adjusted your volume accordingly.) Big punches and some blood in this one.

4. Grant West vs Alex Gallant

(QMJHL) Saint John Sea Dogs at PEI Rocket, Feb 11, 2012

Singer thinks this fight could have been No. 1, and you can see why: Rabbit punches between friends, and those upper cuts from West were legit.

3. Trevor Gillies vs Jon Mirasty

(KHL) Vityaz Chekhov at Barys Astana, Dec 3, 2012

The rematch from No. 11 on this list is a more evenly matched fight, proving that the source of Mirasty’s strength was in fact not his Mohawk. Just two fighting pros fighting to a draw in a brutal match.

2. Vincent Arseneau vs Brett Cook

(MEM) Shawinigan Cataractes at London Knights, May 20, 2012

Who doesn’t love a fight that starts with a ring bell? AND LOOK AT THAT CAMERA WORK! Is this a cut scene from “Goon”? A dandy from the Memorial Cup. But not the best …

1. Alex Pawelczyk vs Samuel Morin

(QMJHL) Shawinigan Cataractes at Rimouski Océanic, Oct 19, 2012

Oh, pink jerseys! How dainty! This fight should be a delicate little OH MY GAWD KO.

As Singer writes: “The top fight is a KO by Samuel Morin, 17. I think you featured him at some point when he was 16 and also KO-ing someone.  It helps when you’re 6’6” or 8-4 in 17-year old measurements.”

Indeed it does.

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