Hockey celebrates its tradition of good old fisticuffs — but the action usually sticks to the combatants on the ice, not the loudmouths in the stands.
Things got plenty out of control over the weekend when a junior hockey player in Canada climbed over the Plexiglas separating the crowd from the players and got into an ugly fight with several fans. Police had to break up the brouhaha.
The home team, Southern Sting, were playing the Grand Lake Moose in a tense playoff series when the brawl erupted.
“Order was restored and the crowd dispersed,” Sgt. Steve Wilson of the Prince John Police told CTV News. “It’s not a typical thing to have police respond to a hockey game.” He said police are investigating a reported assault, but that no charges have been filed.
According to an eyewitness, the hockey player who climbed into the stands struck a spectator in the head with a hockey stick. The player, who has not been identified, then reportedly came to blows with other fans.
Afterward, the public relations crew for the Southern Sting posted an awkward and ill-worded statement, which included several grammatical errors to boot, on the team’s Facebook page.
Downplaying a player hopping into the stands and hitting a spectator with a hockey stick is a rather unusual stance for a team to take. Fans can certainly get out of hand, but athletes understand that it comes with the territory.
The Sting seem to blame the behavior of the fans for the incident by stating it “will be hiring additional security besides the Police at all remaining games and they will be checking people in at the door.”
There was no word on whether the player will be punished as the Southern Sting move on to the New Brunswick Junior Hockey League finals.