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As we told you earlier, a Tuesday afternoon "School Day" game between the AHL Portland Pirates (Buffalo Sabres affiliate) and Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks affiliate) featured about 3,600 elementary and junior high school students from Maine in the stands … and, on the ice, a brawl in the first period that resulted in four ejections.

This did not sit well with a group of school parents who (a) apparently thought their spawn were taking a class trip to see an air hockey game and/or (b) apparently don't own a television.

They complained, the school administrators kvetched and, predictably, the Pirates have now apologized:

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While coach Kevin Dineen said it was a "real mistake" not to tell his players that there might be a large number of young fans at a Tuesday afternoon hockey game (duh), one Pirates player decided to make sense in an interview with WLBZ:

Defenseman Nick Crawford(notes), who spent 5 minutes in the penalty box Tuesday for fighting, said, "There were a lot of kids in the stands. When you're on the ice, you don't really think about that. It happens real quick."

Crawford says he does consider himself a role model, though, and hopes the kids understand that he doesn't condone violence. "Off the ice none of us get in any fights. And that's the biggest thing we're trying to point out. Off the ice, there's no fighting, and none of us do that... It's part of our sport, though, and sometimes it's something we have to do."

One parent asked, "What kind of a message did that game send our 'future athletes' about sportsmanship?" Imagine if these hysterical ninnies actually stopped their wailing long enough to hear the themes of loyalty, honor and sacrifice in that message?

Or as Rosie Schacht of Lake Region Vocational School told WLBZ: "Parents who are uncomfortable always have the option of not signing the permission slip for their kids to go." In other news, we want to build a statue in honor of Rosie Schacht.

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