Just another Friday night match-up in Canada's North East Senior Hockey League, eh? Not really. This past Friday things got downright gross in the second period between New Brunswick's Tracadie-Sheila Alpines and the Miramichi Phantoms. In fact, the game was ultimately called after a massive bench-clearing brawl that spilled into the stands between fans and coaches. There's plenty of dirty play at work with everyone on both teams involved. Miramichi Police were eventually called to settle down the crowd. Details and video of the melee -- including some great front-and-center coach-against-fan action -- after the click.
The game, played at the Miramichi Civic Centre instead of the Phantom's usual home at the Lord Beaverbrook Arena, was called off at 6:59 of the second after a brawl that spilled over into fights amongst fans, some of whom tried to engage players from both teams. Police were called in and at least one fan was seen being escorted from the building.
The brawl began after Tracadie-Sheila goalie Charles Austin was run, bring Alpines players in to defend their goalie. This lead to players squaring off in several fights, many featuring unwilling Alpines participants. Then players on the bench and coaches began to get at it, getting up and over the glass between the benches.
Just when it appeared the brawl was over and fans were gathered around their benches, Miramichi’s James Scott noticed Austin on his knees by himself just outside the crease. Scott, who was brought in specifically for the game and his participation touted by the Phantoms, skated from the benches to the goalie and began throwing punches, starting another round of pushing and shoving and more fights.
The North East Senior Hockey League president called the game after officials called for an intermission to sort out penalties. He issued an apology for the brawl on behalf of the League and, according to reports, plans on doling out stiff disciplinary action.