Fighting is not allowed in NCAA hockey so when it happens that's already news. When one head coach goes after another on the ice, well, you have yourself a true donnybrook.
Rivals Union College and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) were one second from finishing their game, a 2-1 RPI win, with one more faceoff to go. The puck was dropped and almost immediately the horn sounded and emotions spilled over. Players on the ice paired off and some tussels ensued.
It was over at the benches, though, when Union coach Rick Bennett went after RPI coach Seth Appert that things really intensified. Bennett tried going through the linesmen and RPI players who were getting in between the coaches to get to Appert. Bennett took some wild swings but didn't land any.
After the game, the coaches each addressed what unfolded. From Ken Schott of the Daily Gazette.
"I'm actually embarrassed about my actions," Bennett said. "I apologize to our president, our athletic director, our fans, Garnet Blades members, to the RPI fans, their coaching staff, their players. That's now we want to be represented."
"I'd like to apologize for that end of the game [incident]," Appert said. "These are two heated rivals that have had some of these incidents, but we have a tremendous amount of respect for Union. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Rick Bennett and his coaching staff. When you play in a heated rivalry game, sometimes things boil over. But that's not the way we want to be portrayed at all. I know they don't either."
As you can expect, the penalty list at the end of the game was rather lengthy.
The fights on the ice will cost a few players their next games and in a rare twist, the same might hold true for the coaches.