As if I needed any further evidence that hockey players are tougher than me, it seems that even the paraplegic players are getting into brawls these days. And people want to ban fighting in hockey?
Sledge hockey is played by people who have, for one reason or another, lost the use of their legs. Instead of skating around, they sit on a specially-designed sled that allows for maximum movement and control. But when it comes to getting into a line brawl, they don’t need any special equipment.
PUCK DADDY points us to a VANCOUVER SUN article about the U.S.-Canada round robin matchup at the Hockey Canada Cup in Vancouver on Wednesday night. It all started when Canadian goalie Paul Rosen was run over by American Taylor Chace with 1.7 seconds remaining in the game:
“I just thought he was going to peel off a little and I would just kill the clock,” said the feisty, 48-year-old Rosen after Canada’s 2-1 win in round- robin play of the Hockey Canada Cup.
“Once I looked up and realized how close he was,” added Rosen with a wry smile, “(well) I love physical hockey.”
Captain Jean Labonte immediately came to Rosen’s defence and pretty soon all the players on the ice were in a big scrum, some clearly throwing punches with their gloves still on.
“Very nice guy. Dear friend of mine,” Rosen, tongue firmly planted in his cheek, said of Chace. “Going out for Christmas dinner.”
The best part about the whole thing is that the referee didn’t call a major penalty for fighting on anyone. The rules of the competition states that anyone who gets a fighting major has to sit out the next game, so the ref decided to hand out only roughing minors and misconducts.
Canadian forward Billy Bridges made it clear that the code in sledge hockey is pretty much the same as it is in normal hockey:
Bridges, who scored both Canadian goals in the first period, said Chace “two-handed” Rosen and “we’ve just got to protect our goalie.”
“It was a good scrum,” added Bridges, who said he didn’t think the melee would sully the sport’s image.
Sully? It only makes what they do even more awesome. I think it’s an inspiration to know that just because you might lose the use of your legs, that doesn’t mean you can’t beat the crap out of someone on a hockey rink.