Somehow, we missed the infamous “St. Olaf College vs Carleton College Club Hockey Brawl” earlier this month, but thanks to a loyal reader, we were alerted to this incident. Basically, it sounds like the Oles (nickname for St. Olaf fans) started it off with the usual verbal abuse of their opponents. Nothing unusual in college sports there. But then they progressed to throwing bottles and cans onto the ice. That, of course, is also not THAT unusual in college sports, but it tends to happen in large football stadiums where the cans and bottle tend to make it only down to the unfortunate spectators in the front row. That hardly ever stops football games.
But when you throw something on the ice, they kinda have to stop the game.
Of course, St. Olaf was penalized for that, but it didn’t quiet the fans down. Shortly thereafter, additional cans and bottle hit the ice along with–wait for it!–TIRES FROM THE ZAMBONI. The article in the school newspaper, The Daily Oloafer, does not say if these were spare tires, Zamboni tires the students snuck in under their winter coats, or if the crowd ripped them from the ice cleaning machine, but essentially things were pretty much over at that point.
Hockey players, seeing the dismantled Zamboni as a sign of the Apocalypse, starting brawling like it was the end of the world and eventually a referee was somehow slashed in the face with a skate and lay on the ice with blood spurting from his head.
Naturally, the game was called a draw and the police spend hours afterwords clearing up the brawls OUTSIDE the arena. And people wonder why hockey just hasn’t caught on in the US as a major sport? Could it be the on-ice fighting? Or maybe the lack of proper Zamboni protection? We may never know.
The stands were packed with students, predominantly Oles, many of whom began the evening shouting profanities and other negative cheers, including the standard “Carleton sucks!”
The St. Olaf players were just as rambunctious as the fans. “St. Olaf had about as many penalty minutes as they had game minutes,” spectator Thomas Hegland ’13 said. When the crowd threw soda cans and bottles onto the ice, St. Olaf was penalized, and additional bottles and cans along with zamboni tires were thrown onto the ice in retaliation.
With all of the St. Olaf penalty minutes, Carleton was able to achieve a sizeable three-point lead. In the final period, a commotion near the hash marks caught the attention of Ole player Austin Bly ’12, who had just seized the puck.
Players exchanged words and threw punches, with an Ole instigating the battle. Ryan Campbell ’11 was among the first Oles to enter the fight. Though the referees tried to stop the madness, both Carleton and St. Olaf benches quickly cleared, escalating the incident from hockey squabble to full-fledged brawl.
At some point, through the chaos, Christophe Porot ’12 announced that a referee had been injured and was bleeding profusely after taking a skate to the face. The game ended in a draw. Multiple squad cars arrived to break up fights outside the arena.