The Kelowna Rockets' Tyrell Goulbourne might have to be called Little Mac after his takedown of the Portland Winterhawks' Joe Mahon on Friday night.
It was probably inevitable the two were going to go at some point in the two-game series between Portland and Kelowna, the two best teams in the Western Hockey League's Western Conference, since Mahon and Goulbourne are the second and third most frequent fighters in the WHL. But the physical contrast almost seemed comical when Goulbourne challenged Mahon when the Rockets were down 3-0 in the second period. Mahon, at a towering 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, had a half a foot in height and 15 pounds on Goulbourne.
But the Rockets forward, like the video game character made famous in the NES version of Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! — and in no way is it the least bit depressing to think that the 18-year-old Goulbourne might not have any idea what we are referencing — chopped down his much larger combatant.
He didn't even have to throw the 'star punch.' That's a pretty spirited scrap if you like that sort of thing; it had its place and purpose, unlike a lot of fights.
Portland did score the next goal after the donnybrook, but Kelowna made a late push before losing 5-3 with an empty-net goal. Their 23-game home winning streak ended in the loss to the powerhouse Winterhawks, but the effort and the engagement won over all. The bout just spiced up an already mouth-watering matchup between two teams who, if the form holds, could have a good hate on for each other by around the third round of the WHL playoffs. It wasn't a sideshow, it was a plot point.
— Tyrell Goulbourne (@Jee_illy12) February 9, 2013
I just got mahondled #waitwhat
— Joe Mahon (@jmahon24) February 9, 2013
(Stick tap: @Sean_Leahy.)
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to email@example.com (video: Root Sports).