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The rivalry between the American and Canadian men’s national teams in hockey tournaments like the Olympics and world juniors gets a lot of attention. But comparing their levels of animosity to those between their women’s national teams is like comparing a tense conversation between friends to an arson-filled riot.
The latest chapter: Saturday night in Burlington, Vt., in Canada’s 3-2 exhibition win against the U.S., as the game ended with a wild line brawl:
The chaos began when University of North Dakota star Monique Lamoureux bumped Canada goalie Shannon Szabados during a rush to the net. Courtney Birchard skated over, put Lamoureux in a head lock and then slammed her down to the ice. Jocelyne Lamoureux rushed in to defend her twin sister, followed by US teammate Kelli Stack. Canada vets Tessa Bonhomme and Hayley Wickenheiser them rushed in, with the rest of the lines.
That’s Stack and Bonhomme with the facemask clutching wrestling match at the fight’s climax.
Birchard, Bonhomme, Jocelyne Lamoureux and Stack were all given roughing majors.
This is how these rivals tune up for the Olympic tournament. Please recall a brutal exhibition game from Oct. 2009 that included a line brawl between the teams with 3.5 seconds left.
We simply must get the scourge of fighting out of women’s hockey. Or at least lose those cages so they can have a proper melee.