Preseason Bench-Clearing Brawl Between Toronto Rock and Buffalo Bandits

Ron KnabenbauerCorrespondent IDecember 22, 2010

The Toronto Rock (left and right) battle with the Buffalo Bandits (center) (Credit: Larry Palumbo)
The Toronto Rock (left and right) battle with the Buffalo Bandits (center) (Credit: Larry Palumbo)

Who says preseason lacrosse isn’t fun to watch?

The Toronto Rock and the Buffalo Bandits renewed their NLL East Division rivalry with a bench-clearing brawl in a scrimmage on Dec. 16, at the Iroquois Lacrosse Arena in Six Nations, Ontario.

The fight occurred with 5:02 left in third quarter, as Buffalo was bringing the ball into the Toronto zone. Tempers flared in front of the Rock net in what would ignite the brawl.

What started as just a single boxing match, turned into a melee with all the players, including the two goalies, going at it with one another on the floor.

The scene looked like something you would see in old-time hockey games, where there was at least 10 different fights going on at one time (the NHL has since outlawed bench clearing brawls).

Buffalo was leading Toronto 5-4 at the time of the fight, but the Rock never got the chance to tie the game, as the officials called the contest after the brawl.

The National Lacrosse League is reviewing the video with player discipline likely to be announced next week.  Some of these players could pay a tall price, as any suspensions issued from incidents taking place in scrimmages or the preseason would have to be served during regular season games.

By league rules, any player that is deemed to have left the bench to get involved in an on-floor altercation is automatically assessed with a minimum one-game suspension.  The league is reviewing the tape to try and figure out who was already on the floor and who wasn't when the fighting started.

Because of the possible suspensions, many players on both squads will likely miss their teams’ season opening games and maybe more.

The 2011 NLL regular season begins on Jan. 8 for both teams, with Toronto hosting the Edmonton Rush at home in the Air Canada Centre. Buffalo will be at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, where they’ll battle the Roughnecks.

To watch the video of the fight, click on the video to the right or go to