It’s not often you see a full-scale brawl in a women’s game, or at a world championship tournament.
But on Wednesday at the under-18 women’s world championship quarterfinal there was an ol’ fashioned battle royal between Russia and the Czech Republic. The fights broke out near the end of the game – a 2-0 win for the Russians.
Russia will play the U.S. in the semifinal, but they’ll have to do so without two players – including captain Nina Pirogova (No. 13 in the video) – who was suspended one game by the IIHF disciplinary panel for “repeatedly punching” Natalie Mlynkova (No. 15) of the Czech Republic in the head. Thankfully the gloves never come off and everyone is wearing a full-cage.
Pirogova, a defender, was reportedly upset with the liberties the Czechs were taking with Russian goaltender Valeria Merkusheva and decided to send a message.
“It’s important to guard your goalie and prevent any aggression from the opposite team,” Pirogova told fhr.ru.
“They started to attack (goaltender) Valeria Merkusheva, I stuck up for our goaltender. Hopefully, I gave my teammates even more emotions for the next game.”