Prepare your favorite Slap Shot quotes because there was an old fashioned line brawl in the American Hockey League tonight, featuring a few hundred penalty minutes and a goalie altercation that could, I guess, generously be called a "fight."
Hours after their parent clubs played a shootout, the Hershey Bears (AHL affiliate of the Washington Capitals) jumped to a 3-1 lead on the Bridgeport Sound Tigers (the Islanders farm club) after the first period. But with a few minutes left in the second and the score 3-2 Hershey, a series of fisticuffs broke out that ended in half a dozen game misconducts and probably some suspensions.
In the video below, a headlocking scrum eventually leads to Scott Mayfield and Hershey's Chris Brown being lead to the penalty boxes. Mayfield was clearly upset by something Brown had said or done and, after Gallant creates a diversion, Mayfield escapes the box and goes right for Brown. And then it was off to the races.
Inevitably, goalies Kevin Poulin and Pheonix Copley also squared off, which was a bad idea for young Poulin, who had his lunch handed to him in about two seconds. Why on Earth you would even think about fighting a guy named, "Pheonix Copley," which sounds like a character played by Jean-Claude Van Damme in his prime, is unknown at this time.
Sound Tigers beat writer Michael Fornabaio described the scene as "chaos" - twice - in his live blog. Bears coach Troy Mann blamed the veteran instigator Gallant for the whole thing. Brent Thompson did, too.
The final tally: 192 PIMs for the game and ejections for Gallant, Mayfield, Poulin, Justin Courtnall and Hershey's Copley, Connor Carrick, Kris Newbury and Liam O'Brien. Bridgeport's Cam Reid and Hershey's Steve Olesky also received 10 minute misconducts. Mayfield leaving the box and O'Brien coming off the bench will almost certainly mean suspensions.
[UPDATE: Indeed, initial suspensions are issued for Mayfield (leaving the bench), Gallant (accumulating game misconducts) and O'Brien (leaving the bench).]
The Sound Tigers lost 4-3, whittling their already slim playoff hopes even more. But at least they sent a message about...something. They host Norfolk tomorrow in Bridgeport.