Fighting Ends Russian Hockey Match After Four Minutes

By Sadie Bass

Jan 11, 2010 2:06pm

ABC's Alexander Marquardt reports from Moscow: Ice hockey fans love watching opposing players duke it out on the ice, and the refs don’t only not immediately break it up, they usually help clear shed helmets and gloves. But if a game is called after three minutes and thirty nine seconds because of repeated brawling, chances are the fans aren’t going to be too happy. That’s how a Continental Hockey League game ended Saturday night in Russia after so many players were penalized for fighting that there weren’t enough players to finish the game. It all started when a player from Vityaz Chekhov shot the puck at a player from the opposing Avangard Omsk during warm-ups, Avangard’s coach told Russian website Sovetsky Sport. Temperatures rose and three and a half minutes after the game started, a fight broke out with all the players on the ice, including former Pittsburgh Penguins star Jaromir Jagr. The referees tried to start the game twice more but the players couldn’t seem to help themselves. Gloves, helmets and sticks littered the ice. All in all, 691 penalty minutes were doled out and in the end the refs were forced to cut the game short with more than 56 minutes to go because there weren’t enough players. The CHL handed down $33,300 fines to both teams on Sunday for disrupting the match. On top of that, Vityaz got a $100,000 fine for "the damage to the business reputation of the Continental Hockey League, its partners, and Russian hockey in general, as well as the cumulative violations and their initiation." Vityaz was also told they would be thrown out of the league if a similar incident takes place again.  Four players were fined $5,000, seven got one-game suspensions and each team was given a technical 5-0 defeat. It was the first time a Russian game was ended because of fighting. “I have never seen anything like this, I have never even heard of anything like that,” Jagr told Sovetsky Sport. “I can’t recall such things happening in the NHL. And they couldn’t happen there because of the rules.”

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