Saturday, March 17, 2007


Saturday Night's All Right for Fighting

by Jes

Mirasty the Nasty!

Who says fans don't like fighting in hockey? (Buttman)

Who says the Quebecois hockey players are softies? (Cherry)

Well, beer league hockey in Quebec has always proven that Quebecers like a lot of violence with their hockey.

It's Friday night and for just over 2,000 people in this town of 35,000, that means it's either hockey night or fight night.

Luckily, they can get both in the same building.

The Colisee Cardin in this town about 65 kilometres northeast of Montreal on the shores of the St-Lawrence River was packed on Friday for a North American Hockey League game between the hometown Sorel-Tracy Mission and the rival St-Jean Summum Chiefs.

But more important than the game itself for the crowd of 2,115 was the highly anticipated fourth instalment in a season-long series of fights between the league's undisputed heavyweight Steve (The Crash) Bosse of the Chiefs and Jon (Nasty) Mirasty of the Mission.

While the NHL tries to clean up its public image in the wake of the Chris Simon stick-swinging and Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incidents, the North American Hockey League -- not to be confused with the U.S. junior league that goes by the same name -- brings in fans with the promise of rough hockey and lots of fights.

For instance, Friday night's game had a Wrestlemania-style billing of Bosse-Mirasty IV, and there was no doubt right from the opening warm-up that's what the fans were there to see.

"I would say three-quarters of the people who are here came to see them fight,'' said Jean Guevremont, 22, a Mission season-ticket holder from nearby Berthierville.

Surely, these guys must have at least a little skill?

In 88 career games over three seasons with the Mission, Mirasty has eight goals, 11 assists and 771 penalty minutes

Bosse is in his fourth year in the North American Hockey League, and in 127 career games he has two goals, four assists and 898 penalty minutes.

OK, maybe not.

If I ever do head to Quebec, one of the things I absolutely must do is go to see one of these WWE-on-ice productions. If you are going to allow fighting, you might as well go all the way and make it front and center.

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You ever see the movie The Chiefs about that league? Pretty good. :)
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