Russian ice hockey authorities came down like a ton of bricks on the teams involved in a top-level match that saw two entire squads exchange punches and wrestle on the ice just minutes into a game. Vityaz Podolsk and Avangard Omsk were issued fines of 4 million rubles (US$136,000, NT$4.3 million) and 1 million rubles (US$34,000, NT$1.1 million) respectively.
The game was abandoned with just 3 minutes 39 seconds played as so many players had been sent off that there were not sufficient players left to complete the fixture.
Their Continental Hockey League — Russia’s top flight which also includes teams from Belarus, Latvia and Kazakh-stan — was holding an emergency meeting to decide how to punish the protagonists in the fight, state media said.
The game started testily, with ferocious body checks, and then degenerated into an unashamed boxing match with the players taking off their gloves to throw better punches.
More participants skated onto the ice from the substitutes bench as the referees looked on helplessly, television pictures showed.
Having sent off much of the two teams, the game then restarted with those remaining.
But seconds after the face-off the fighting started again with everyone else again whizzing onto the ice to take part and the rink littered with discarded gloves and sticks.
Some players were even pictured wrestling belly-down on the ice.
The referees then abandoned the match as so many players had been sin-binned not enough were left to muster the minimum four required to stage a game under the laws of the sport.
Reports said that only the two reserve goal-tenders would have been eligible to play.
The players involved were suspended for a total of 691 minutes each, which would see them spending the next 11 matches in the sin-bin.
(AFP WITH STAFF WRITER)
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