A normal hockey game lasts 60 minutes, unless a team is so astonished by the level of violence coming from the other side of the rink that they call it after 39.
What started as a peaceful interleague preseason matchup on Sunday between the Vienna Capitals and HK Nitra deteriorated into an on-ice spectacle of dirty, cheap hits and piles of bodies fighting for revenge.
With a series of hits and plays coming right out of the Danbury Trashers playbook, the Capitals clearly had something out for the team from Slovakia. From dirty clips to the side of a player’s head, to swatting at another dude’s hand with a stick like it was a house fly, it was seemingly an unrelenting amount of unsportsmanlike violence coming from Vienna.
After all of the carnage and a total of 17 penalty minutes awarded to Vienna, HK Nitra decided to end the game early, not willing to continue being on the receiving end of dangerous plays.
"We are ending the game on the initiative of the club management,” HK Nitra said in a statement on Facebook. “We will not take part in the deliberate hunt for our players. We will certainly not play against the Vienna Capitals in the next ten years...The health of our players has top priority. Attacks by opponents were far beyond common sense...We believe that it was just short circuits from several people. In the years to come, we won't start any more games against today's opponents."
With preseason friendlies like this, teams can agree on their opponents and schedule them accordingly between the mid-level European leagues. It’s safe to say that Nitra might lose the Capitals’ number.
There are no official reports on any injuries caused by Vienna, but one player who was viciously taken out on HK Nitra was Simon Nemec, a projected top-five pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Hopefully he won’t lose any significant amount of time in the most important season of his career because some guys from Austria decided to act like they were 90s professional wrestlers.
There’s a line and the Capitals decided to leap over it while doing a couple of mid-air flips.
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