Odd, is it not, how a team trailing in a series incites a melee after it falls behind five goals and then starts to play better. It remains to be seen whether the Windsor Spitfires, who are down 2-0 in the best-of-7 series, can avoid a quick exit vs. the heavily favoured London Knights in their Ontario Hockey League playoff series, the underdogs aren't going out meekly.
On Saturday, the teams had a line brawl that hearkened back to the bad old days in hockey. Windsor's Cristiano DiGiacinto started it by punching London's Gemel Smith, who didn't drop his gloves. Everyone piled in, and when all was said and done, five players had been ejected and (reportedly) the mother of Spitfires centre Brady Vail had been fined for trespassing and banned from London's Budweiser Gardens for throwing a beer can into the Knights penalty box.
Under OHL rules, the Knights will likely be able to avoid losing anyone for an upcoming game, since it can pay a fine to 'buy back' the game misconducts that defenceman Zach Bell and centre Michael McCarron incurred for coming to Gemel Smith's rescue. Post-game, the Spitfires gave their interpretation of The Code, so-called, saying the situation might have been avoided if the Knights would have just squared off earlier.
From Ryan Pyette:
Windsor head coach Bob Boughner said the scraps were a product of a lot of jarring and chirping back and forth. Four minutes before the on-ice fisticuffs, McCarron refused to fight Spitfires tough guy Ty Bilcke.
“At that point, it's two guys who looked like they were ready to go and then at the last minute, there's no gloves dropped on the (Knights') part,” Boughner said. “I told my players to play hard, be ready and compete. We really called them on the carpet about our compete (level) in Game 1 and I thought I saw that (Saturday).
“That's tough playoff hockey. We stuck together as a team and we can draw positives from that.” (London Free Press)
The Spitfires scored the next three goals after the brawl, for what that is worth.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet (video: Rogers TV London).