Wild hockey brawl with Hamilton team caught on video
Hockey fight involving Mountain Blues gets out of control at Bradford, Ont. tournament
Over 110,000 people have watched a violent bench brawl between the Hamilton Mountain Blues and the Onaping Falls Huskies during a hockey tournament in Bradford, Ont. in March.
The YouTube clip is just another look at the ugly side of hockey, and is something players and coaches from both sides say they'd rather forget.
"It's definitely not good. It puts a mindset into other teams that have seen the video that we're a dirty team," said Dylan Robichaud, who plays forward on the Hamilton team.
"If most of us can't play in this tournament and this was our last game, it's definitely not the way I wanted to end my hockey career off."
I can't say I'm entirely surprised that this occurred.- Northeast Hockey League President Leo Verilli
Both teams were mostly full of 17 year olds, who were playing in their last year of organized hockey. The teams played the night before as well (Hamilton dropped a 2-1 decision), and the game quickly became chippy.
The Huskies say one of the Hamilton players took a cheap shot at one of their players, and that ratcheted up the tension even more. With 20 seconds left in the game Robichaud dumped the puck in over the blue line and then "had his head taken off" by a hit, he says.
He dropped the gloves, and before long fights had broken out all over the ice – culminating with one of the Hamilton coaches wandering over to the Huskies' bench and getting punched square in the face.
"That's the biggest embarrassment," said Emil Lavoie, the head of the Onneping Minor Hockey association, who was on the bench as an assistant coach for the Huskies.
"It's totally embarrassing for the association and the coaching staff," he said. "It's one of those things like Groundhog Day that you just wish you could take back and replace."
Northeast Hockey League President Leo Verilli told CBC news that the Huskies "played on the edge" all season, and the team was previously sanctioned for it.
"They play a physical, tough, tough game – and sometimes they cross the line," Verilli said.
"I can't say I'm entirely surprised that this occurred."
Tournament organizers called in the police and both teams were interviewed. No charges were laid.