In the sport of hockey, brawling can happen at any moment. Though stick play, skating, and scoring triple dekes constitutes the bread and butter of play, that one man can punch another in the face whenever instills black hurricane sparks of electricity into the proceedings.
We did not know this included the cordial sportsmanship aspect of the game: the handshake line.
A hockey match in Sweden proved us wrong. Following a U18 junior game between Åker/Strängnäs HC and Flemingsbergs IK, players broke out in fight during handshakes. The brawl resulted in 871 penalty minutes and 33 game misconducts. That is absolutely insane and incredible and our new favorite fact about Sweden.
No players skated away from the scuffle without receiving penalty minutes—that is except each team’s backup goaltenders.
Feast your eyes upon this bonkers scroll of a box score.
Trying to figure out what the hell happened requires some help. A post from Afton Bladet corroborates reports about the fight breaking out during a testy handshake line, resulting in the referee throwing out everyone in the game.
The following quote from Flemingsbergs coach Fredrik Strandfeldt, comes courtesy of SBNation, who translated the original Swedish post into English.
“Me and the supply guy jumped on the ice and started to tell the guys to stop it and get away from each other. It all started with a push at the handshake line and then it continued with more pushes. I don’t think it was that bad, it calmed down quite fast and no one got hurt. It stopped quite fast in the rink,” says Flemingsbergs coach Fredrik Strandfeldt.
Using Google Translate, we also have this quote from Akers coach Jimmy Albin, who says the score sheet makes it look worse than it was, though still not an ideal look for the league.
“It is disaster and not good. Certainly, no damage, but it does not look good and it was trash talk that started it all and we have some guys who are hot. So this should not behave in an Ice Hockey,” Albin said. “We will talk about this in the team.”
Unfortunately no footage exists of the event. However, if you’re wondering about the biggest fight in NHL history, that would be the 2004 match between the Ottawa Senators and Philadelphia Flyers. That brawl resulted in 419 penalty minutes between the teams. Compared to the junior players, that figure seems like child’s play.
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