Monday, 25 January 2016

Bee In London's Bonnet

It's been a while since all hell broke loose in a hockey game, so yesterday's game in London, Ontario between the Sarnia Sting and the London Knights was a bit of a surprise considering the gap in the standings between these two teams. London is the second-best team in the OHL with 71 points as of this morning while Sarnia is the fifth-best team in the Western Conference with 54 points. That doesn't mean that the Sting will just take anything handed to them by the Knights, though, as this one got out of hand with just over a minute to play in the third period and London leading by a 4-1 score.

Let's go to the video because there's five minutes of anger and fighting that happened.
Wow. So you might be asking what caused Sarnia's Kevin Spinozzi to go after Max Jones behind the net to set off this powder keg. According to Sarnia head coach Derian Hatcher, Jones was to blame for the entire ordeal.

"He slew footed our guy in front of the net about three minutes earlier," Hatcher told Ryan Pyette of The London Free Press. "The last four times we’ve played this team, he’s done it three times and we have (all) three on tape."

While the cameras didn't catch it, Hatcher was also incensed over the sucker punch Travis Konecny took from London's Owen MacDonald as they were picking up equipment. MacDonald was given a match penalty for intent to injure, and proceeded to taunt and challenge the entire Sarnia bench as he was escorted off the ice. Adding to the insanity was Chad Heffernan who left the London bench to attack Sarnia's Alex Black. Needless to say, OHL Commissioner David Branch won't be too happy with any of this foolishness.

"They sent their four toughest guys off the bench," Hatcher said. "It's all on the game sheet. The refs got it on there. We shouldn’t have anything. There were second fights, but their (the Knights) instigator penalties should make them null and void."

Here's the penalty summary for the last 1:21 of the game. There will be suspensions handed out for sure. The only question will be to whom and for how long. The OHL doesn't need this kind of tarnish right before the Top Prospects Game on Thursday in Vancouver.

With London staring down a meeting with first-overall Erie in the upcoming week, losing a pile of players to suspension won't help them close the four-point gap between themselves and the Otters. If timing is everything, the Knights allowed the bee in their bonnets to really put them at a disadvantage in their quest for first-overall. That may sting in the playoffs more than the Knights would like to let on.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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