Friday night fight's at the TCC–hockey style
Arizona and ASU don't get along, they proved it on the ice
Arizona defenseman Nick Zellmer fired off a slapshot with just under three minutes to go, in Arizona’s 4-1 win over rival ASU. Sun Devil goaltender Jack Burkel knew the play was blown dead.
Arizona forward Josh Larson, who was standing in the crease at the time, was then subsequently shoved from behind. Nearly immediately after Larson was shoved, he was pushed from the other side. Finally, Burkel hit him in the back of the head with his glove. Understandably, the scrum on the ice escalated.
Arizona State defenseman Zach Kowalchuk joined Burkel against Larson, but Larson then had Burkel lying on top of him. The referees quickly pulled the goalie, who was still throwing punches while wearing his glove and blocker, off of Larson, and sent him off the ice. Burkel was the first player ejected.
Arizona forward Justin Plumhoff tried to assist his teammate as the fight broke out, but was pulled away by ASU defenseman Preston Ames. Ames then managed to rip Plumhoff’s shirt off, taking Plumhoff;s helmet with it. This caused Plumhoff to be the second player tossed from the game.
More minor scuffles broke out throughout ASU’s defensive zone. Mike Leone of Arizona State had Wildcat Tyler Griffith by the facemask, and dragged Griffith around a bit. Leone was then able to jar the helmet off of his opponent, but no major punches were thrown.
Arizona State is entirely at fault in this fight. They instigated it with a 3-on-1 to start the ruckus. They dragged players away from Burkel, leaving him at the whim of other Sun Devils. ASU even ripped a player’s jersey off. The incredible part of the whole ordeal is that the same number of Wildcats were tossed as Sun Devils. The Wildcats that were ejected were incredibly important players, as well.
The Wildcats came away from the fight victorious. Arizona State started the fight out of frustration, being down 4-1, but UA left the fight fired up. That intensity is going to carry over to Saturday's game. The ‘Cats had slowed down and become somewhat complacent after going up 3-0, and that same entitled attitude could have carried over to tomorrow, but it won’t after the fight.
Despite the ‘Cats victory on the ice, the true winners from tonight were the fans in section 106. They were chirping at Burkel all night, and got into his head. Their insults ranged from fat jokes to things that would cause their grandmothers to disown them. They could very well have been the reason why the Sun Devil goalie was aggravated enough to throw the first punch.
Arizona vs. ASU II starts Saturday at 7:30 p.m., but the undercard may well be underway.
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