As the sarcastic server of suds Carla Tortelli Lebec once put it on Cheers, "What fight? I've had sneezes that lasted longer."
It's been a trying season for the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles, who have the poorest record in all of major junior hockey and it might have felt even longer after what happened to right wing Raphaël Corriveau when he decided to stand up for his teammates during their latest loss on Wednesday.
In the third period, right after the Saint John Sea Dogs had gone ahead 4-2 to take control of the game, Corriveau and Sea Dogs tough guy Maxime Villemaire squared off. Only the referees could not in good conscience assess fighting majors, instead penalizing the pair off-setting delay of game penalties because one jab by Villemaire caused Corriveau to fall down. It starts 2:10 into the Sea Dogs' recap.
The best part is how Villemaire almost seems to turn away in disgust after Corriveau falls down and the linesmen skate in. There's a binding social contract in a hockey fight: you have to stay on your feet long enough for the other combatant to at least get in a second shot.
Villemaire and Corriveau with the shortest fight off all-time.
— Jamie Tozer (@station_nation) February 28, 2013
Epic tilt between Villemaire and a screaming Eagle. Blinked. Missed it.
— Michael Hawkins (@Hawkalicious) February 28, 2013
Granted, keeping one's balance and punching on skates is very difficult, but junior hockey players whose place on their team might require them to fight do learn the art and craft of it. If there's any other moment that sums up what a tough road the Screaming Eagles have had this season, it hasn't made YouTube.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org (video: Saint John Sea Dogs).