Ice turns blood-red on Hallowe'en weekend
IT IS part of the culture of the game, and fights have been staged in the past to draw fans to ice hockey, but there was nothing sporting or staged about the punch-up at Alexandra Palace on Sunday night...
Haringey Greyhounds 2
Bracknell Hornets 9
IT IS part of the culture of the game, and fights have been staged in the past to draw fans to ice hockey, but there was nothing sporting or staged about the punch-up at Alexandra Palace on Sunday night.
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Hallowe'en had been and gone, but that didn't stop Haringey Greyhounds and Bracknell drawing blood as their league match erupted in the 36th minute.
Hounds forward Scott Beeson was through on goal when a chasing opponent punched him in the back of the head.
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With his side already 8-2 down, Beeson was understandably incensed, and he responded in kind.
Six players were sin-binned in the ensuing ruck - three from each side - after the two teams engaged in a serious bout of "roughing".
Beeson was yellow-carded and had to take two minutes off the ice, while Michael Ranby got four minutes.
Meanwhile, Perry Richardson - who had been sin-binned less than a minute previously for holding - leapt back out of the penalty box to enter the fray.
Curiously, his punishment was a further six minutes in the sin-bin - and a dismissal from the match altogether.
It was a similar story in the Bracknell ranks, with Bradley Watchorn and James Galazzi both getting two-minute stints in the box.
However, it didn't take long for Watchorn to break out of his cell and get stuck in again, earning him the same punishment as Richardson.
Ironcially, the fight was probably the closest moment of the match - it was certainly the only time that the Hounds got to grips with their opponents.
The Hornets took the lead 80 seconds into the match, and were 5-0 up inside 11 minutes, taking the score up to 8-0 five minutes into the second period.
Haringey pulled a goal back in the 31st minute as Nathan Webb set up Ranby, and three minutes later Liam Doyle gave Beeson the chance to score a second, which he took.
Seconds later Beeson was through on goal again, only to be halted by the blow from behind.
When play resumed, Bracknell grabbed the one and only goal in the remainder of the match, punctuating their bad-tempered victory with further spells in the sin-bin for checking, charging and roughing.
The Hounds' ninth defeat from their 11 league games left them in the relegation zone and, although club owner Jan Bestic hopes to sign reinforcements in the coming days, he admits he may be too late to bolster the Greyhounds this Sunday evening.
Haringey host sixth-placed Oxford City Stars at Ally Pally, facing off at 5.30pm.
Haringey Greyhounds: Tipple, Partington, Doyle, Dodds, Richardson, Payne, Beeson, Saunders, Ranby, Webb, Gallagher, Fearnley, Bird, Appleby, Fox, Feighery.