December 08, 2008
Twenty penalties. Nine game disqualifications. Several spots of blood on the ice. Two goalies fighting. One penalty for abuse of officials. The men's hockey teams from the University of Illinois and Eastern Michigan University show us all what a late-third period line brawl should look like.
All of this hell broke loose at 18:12 of the third (and yet no Tchaikovsky on the soundtrack). Loved how this fight seemed on the verge of ending a few times, before players would skate back into the fray to ignite it again. The camera work isn't exactly Kubrickian in its composition, but it was rather wonderful when it suddenly jerked away from the action in that classic "Hey, look, a goalie fight!" haste.
According to the box score, the star of the brawl was No. 14 Joe Schweiger of EMU, who received penalties for fighting, grabbing the facemask, abuse of officials and two different game disqualifications. Which is weird, because the Daily Illini reported that he was supposed to be suspended after a fight in the teams' game the previous night.
It started with a couple of late hits after the whistle, including a slash to the hand of junior defenseman, and team assist leader, Brad Hoelzer. He slammed his stick to the ice in frustration and was doubled over in pain.
"It's frustrating just because when you do get up like that the other team starts to get frustrated, and that's understandable, but when they started to get cheap and some slashes before the whistle or after the whistle it just kind of escalated," senior captain Jordan Pringle said after Saturday's game.
The teams play in the Central States Collegiate Hockey League, which is a Div. I league of the American Collegiate Hockey Association comprised of non-varsity club teams without NCAA sanction. Having spent many a night watching friends play on club teams back in college, there's always been a delightful "Slap Shot" aesthetic to that level of hockey. In case you couldn't tell from the video.