This is why you watch minor league hockey: extracurricular violence in a fun, lawless setting.
In total, referees doled out 299 minutes of penalty time over the course of the contest. Many of those came after a veritable street fight took place in the game’s final moments.
Down 2-0 to the Pirates, three Phantoms players decided to jump Portland defenseman Connor Murphy at the blue line and dish out some punishment. What little order was left in the game quickly dissolved into fisticuffs and dog-piling.
It was more than your average “man up and fight” scenario. Adirondack goalie Cal Heeter jumped over the boards and went at Portland goalie Louis Domingue, making for an ultra-rare “benched goalie” fight.
Pirates coach Ray Edwards said the game-ending brawl was an ugly, pointless debacle, according to Paul Betit of the Portland Press Herald.
“It was a joke,” Edwards said. “I’m proud of my guys for sticking up for each other, but the whole thing was a joke.”
Coach Edwards might have thought it disgraceful, but these things happen in the wild spaghetti western that is the AHL. On the bright side, Sunday’s game wasn’t even close to being the most heavily penalized contest in AHL history.
That distinction belongs to the Adirondack Red Wings and the Hershey Bears, who racked up 520 minutes of penalties during a 1981 game. We can only assume the word “murder” was on the penalty sheet for that one.
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