This is one of the reasons I hate all the ire that gets thrown at hockey officials. Sure, it’s all fun and games, until people start acting like maniacs, then it’s the refs job to clean things up.
At an All American Hockey League game (yeah, I had never heard of them either) between the Chi-Town Shooters and the Evansville Icemen, a line brawl turned bizarre when a player tried to fight a linesman. From HockeyRefs.com:
At the end of the second period, Chi-Town defensemen Clay Lewis received a match penalty for slashing, a match penality for spearing and a game misconduct for Category I Abuse of an Official for an on-ice incident where Lewis threw off his gloves specifically to fight a linesmen.
Reports from the game indicate that Lewis pulled the linesmen’s jersey over his helmet, and threw off his helmet before an IceMen player intervened.
In an unusual move, the team posted the video of the incident on YouTube.
And the video tells the story:
And don’t give me the “refs lost control of the game” line. How do you control that sort of thing? How do you control people that plain out and out want to brawl, fight, and push you around?
Refs have the hardest jobs on the ice. I don’t care how many times they blew a call against your team, they aren’t there to hose one more than another, they aren’t there to make things right for the fans. They are some of the biggest hockey fans out there, and they take more abuse from people who have zero understanding of their jobs. I doubt this ref woke up thinking he was going to have to defend himself in a fight at work.