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Niagara IceDogs, Owen Sound Attack square off in line brawl; suspensions likely to result

On Thursday, fans in need of a fisticuffs fix were more than sated when a dozen-man donnybrook broke out late in the game during the IceDogs' blowout win over the Attack.

The massive melee broke out after the Attack wing Kyle Hope bowled over IceDogs goalie Chris Festarini; this might have been attempted retribution for goalie Brandon Hope (no relation) twice being run over by Niagara forwards earlier in the game. (Penalties were called each time.) Everyone grabbed a partner and started dancing, which was entertaining on some level.

On a serious note, Attack defenceman Brayden Rose received a game misconduct for "physical abuse of an official (Category II)." Under OHL rules, that's a minimum 10-game suspension. The goaltending Hope also went wild, careering down the ice to get in on the fight.

Obviously, this is unacceptable, and OHL vice-president Ted Baker will be busy meting out discipline to each team. As so often happens in non-conference games between teams that only meet twice a season, the contest had been acrimonious throughout, chock-full of checking to the head, checking from behind, interference on goaltender and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.

There were two fights in the third period prior to both teams snapping with 3:18 remaining. So much for a good scrap diffusing the tension, as fighting apologists always claim.

Oddly enough, it's the second time Brandon Hope has fought during a road game against Niagara. He also duked it out in a goalie fight with Dalton McGrath three seasons ago. Then again, considering the occasionally increased potential for mayhem in interconference matchups, maybe the odds of this happening twice were not as remote.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to btnblog@yahoo.ca (video: TV Cogeco Ontario, Sportsnet).

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