The Federal League was the fictitious home to the Charlestown Chiefs in “Slap Shot,” a movie that featured fights on the ice and in the stands.
Established in 2009, the actual Federal Hockey League is seven-team pro league in the Northeast. On Monday night, in the Commissioner’s Cup Playoffs, there was chaos worthy of Reg Dunlop and the Hanson Brothers.
The Danbury Whalers were involved in an altercation with fans after the second period of their game at the Watertown Wolves, delaying the start of the third period for more than an hour. According to the Watertown Daily Times, two players were arrested:
City Police Sgt. Dennis C. Lawlee said the fight broke out after an unidentified Watertown fan shoved a Danbury player, who was not in uniform for Monday night’s Federal Hockey League playoff game at the Watertown Municipal Arena at the Alex T. Duffy Fairgrounds.
Seeing their teammate shoved, Danbury players left the bench and rushed to his aid, causing an arena security guard to be pushed down in the process, said Erin E. Gardner, the city’s parks and recreation superintendent.
Police identified the two Danbury players as forward Luke Warner and defenseman Steve Brown, who were both charged with second-degree harassment. They were given appearance tickets for Watertown City Court. Mr. Brown returned to play in the game, won by Watertown, 5-2. It was unclear if Mr. Warner returned to the game.
The Wolves fan, whose name was not available Monday night, also is going to be charged with harassment, Sgt. Lawlee said. About 20 city police officers, Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies and state police responded to the scene. About half of them remained at the arena until the end of the game.
According to FHL Fans Zone, a Twitter feed that covers the league, “one of the security guards got jumped by a Whaler”; it noted that Warner, a 22-year-old forward, was removed from the game by security and didn’t skate in the third.
Here's audio of the incident after the second period:
Watertown coach Brent Clark told Yahoo Sports that the way Watertown Municipal Arena is laid out, the players walk through a pedestrian concourse to get to the visiting dressing room. Security attempted to keep fans from players, but Clark said the players “pushed through security” to leave the ice after the second period. He said players that did not dress for Danbury were involved physically during the altercation.
He said he'd never seen players and fans clash like that in the arena.
Dave Smolnycki, a spokesman for the FHL, said he was aware of the incident but had no information about arrests of players. A call to Herm Sorcher, Whalers co-owner, was not returned.
Watertown eliminated the Whalers from the playoffs, 5-2, in Game 3 of their semifinal series.