Extracurricular activities are very common in hockey, but Thursday's game between the Carolina Hurricanes and San Jose Sharks took things to a whole different level. In the second period, Hurricanes goaltender Petr Mrazek made a save and froze the puck in an effort to stop play. Joe Thornton swiped at the puck while Mrazek had it under control and things turned ugly from there.
Mrazek reacted by swiped his stick at Thornton's legs and then started approaching Thornton. Thornton responded by swiftly punched Mrazek in the throat. The goaltender immediately collapsed to the ice and both teams got involved in a heated confrontation:
Following the melee, Thornton received a two-minute penalty for slashing and a two-minute penalty for roughing. Meanwhile, Mrazek received a two-minute minor for slashing.
Thornton's teammates were quick to defend him after the game and heaped the blame at Mrazek for coming at Thornton.
"Jumbo [Thornton] plays hard, and the goalie went after him," Sharks center Logan Couture said after the game, according to NBC Sports. "So, I don't know if the goalie expected to get pushed like he did, but if you're going to go at someone you're probably going to get pushed."
Mrazek didn't really comment too much on the incident after the game, but did call it a "cheap shot," the Raleigh News & Observer reported. The Carolina netminder also added that he has been hit worse than that.
Canes’ Petr Mrazek talks about the punch from Joe Thornton. pic.twitter.com/VAB8QgtSuT— Chip Alexander (@ice_chip) December 6, 2019
The play didn't seem to rattle Mrazek, as he stopped 28 of the 30 shots he faced on the night. The Hurricanes were able to come away with a 3-2 shootout win over the Sharks. In addition, Mrazek stopped all three shootout attempts from the Sharks and was named the third star of the contest.
The victory was huge for the Hurricanes, who had dropped three of their last four games entering Thursday. Winger Andrei Svechnikov ended up netting the lone goal of the shootout to lead the Hurricanes.
On Friday, at Raleigh Center Ice, the Hurricanes' training facility, the team was able to joke about the whole situation.
Fun times at RCI. pic.twitter.com/1njfOwFN15— Cory Lavalette (@corylav) December 6, 2019
They outlined a body where Mrazek was dropped and put his number 34 in spray paint in the center of it.
You have to love a team that can laugh at themselves.