Nearly all of the hockey world has had their eyes on the Sochi Olympics the past two weeks, and they'll continue to do so for six more days leading up to the men's and women's gold medal games. But while the NHL is on break, there are still other hockey leagues soldiering on.
Suffice it to say, it's going to be tough for them to get some attention. But what better way than with a goalie fight? It's a great idea, which is why nearly every other league going right now decided to try it this weekend.
Sure, one is great, but how about three goalie fights? That's what went down this past weekend. No, not in one game, but in three different games in three different professional levels: the AHL, ECHL and SPHL.
Let's start in the Southern Professional Hockey League where the Columbus Cottonmouths and Louisiana IceGators did battle on Saturday night. The IceGators ended up with the 7-4 victory, but no one was talking about the final score.
With 10:13 left in the third period, Greg Brown and Will Aide dropped the gloves. As you'll see, IceGators goalie Kiefer Smiley wanted to get involved in a scrap of his own, so he calmly took off his mask and began skating in the direction of Curtis Martinu at center ice:
Really, the best part of that entire sequence is the one official pointing toward the two goalies about to throw down and all of the officials racing over there to try and stop it.
They were unsuccessful, unless they were only after a better view.
Same night, different league: the ECHL's Reading Royals were closing in on a 4-1 victory over the Evansville IceMen when a post-whistle scrum ignited an already hotly-contested game. Reading netminder Brandon Anderson tried to engage Mike Clemente at first with a drive-by, but the Evansville goalie didn't seem to want to take part until he was perfectly ready:
Finally, moving on to Sunday, the AHL match-up between the Adirondack Phantoms and Portland Pirates had its rough moments in the first two periods, but things boiled over in the third. Twenty-two seconds before the Pirates secured a 2-0 shutout, a scrum began, which soon involved everyone.
I think we can blame Louis Dominque for this one. He just really, really wanted to get involved with someone. Who could blame him? Eventually he gets his wish and squares off with Cal Heeter.
(Stay with it for the entire 11 minutes as following the face-off after the initial brawl lets up, the two teams go at it again.)
The shenanigans gave Mark Visentin and Yann Danis 22 seconds of game time in net. The officials handed out 267 minutes in penalties in the span of three seconds for the separate incidents.
As always, in the end, the real winners of these brawls are we, the fans.
And the play-by-play announcers, who take their games up a notch, veering close to Gorilla Monsoon territory. And for that, we applaud them.
Stick-tap Mike Matthews.
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