The ECHL’s Orlando Solar Bears and Florida Everblades broke out into a line brawl in the last minute of Game 4 of their divisional semifinals Saturday. The result was hectic and loud, like every facet of minor league hockey.
The unrestrained violence, the stale arena music, a kid going wild in the stands: All of this draws people to emotionally invest in a league that’s otherwise a stepping stone for legitimate talent. (Or maybe they simply like seeing any guy on skates punch another guy for their entertainment.) Here’s video, from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette:
Five Everblades and five Solar Bears received game misconducts at 19:14 of the third period. That included Orlando goalie Ryan Massa, who was fired up about the fights until he realized he was getting ejected, just 46 seconds away from a 42-save shutout.
The ECHL fined and suspended Florida’s Mitchell Heard for three games, keeping him out of the rest of the series. His teammate Jake Baker received a fine and one-game suspension.
H/t to Ben