As told to: Rick ShanleyWe were in Muskegon and I’d gotten into it with Carlo Torresan earlier in the game, probably first or early second period. He was big and strong, overpowering– hard to fight– but I wasn’t going to step away. Honestly, I lost quite handedly. I remember that they got us separated and took us to the box, where we kept antagonizing each other. They got me into the box first – probably because I was more willing on that particular occasion – and he came by the box. I said something, I don’t remember what it was, but he went absolutely bonkers and got thrown out of the game. All was moving along rather smooth until later on there was a fight going on. I got hooked up with one of the guys who didn’t fight much; I just grabbed the guy and he wasn’t too interested, wasn’t a big combatant, and I was watching another teammate fight somebody.
When you’re in the middle of a brawl and the place erupts, you don’t know what’s going on: you’re not looking for a guy in street clothes on the ice.
All of a sudden, the guy I was standing there holding says, “Please don’t hit me.” Had he not said anything, it would’ve been fine. But it just struck me wrong. Especially because I just finished getting the living crap beat out of me by the friggin’ gorilla. The way he said it struck me as wrong. I just started peeling him. It was in the playoffs, so it was time to make something happen, and I just started giving it to him. The benches emptied. Torresan, in street clothes, came out of the Zamboni alley and the place erupted. I was between the blue line and the center ice line on the visitor’s bench side. When you’re in the middle of a brawl and the place erupts, you don’t know what’s going on: you’re not looking for a guy in street clothes on the ice.
I turned around and saw Torresan running out. The dress of the day was one of those flowered, open-neck silk shirts and a choker around the neck. He was right in style. When I saw him my eyes got as big as saucers. Here was the opportunity I was waiting for. A guy in street clothes is no competition, but just as I turned to approach him, Mario Lessard–our goalie who ended up playing for the Los Angeles Kings– came flying by and jumped on Torresan. He jumped so high his butt-end hit me in the shoulder.
RICK SHANLEY is a former hockey writer for the Kalamazoo (Mich.) Gazette who covered the NHL, NCAA and an alphabet soup of minor leagues for more than a decade. He now lives in Charlotte, N.C., where he's one of the better rec league players simply by geographic default.
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