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Four misconducts in ice brawl

By Dylan MatthiasStaff Contributor

It was just a typical game in the SMU-Dal hockey rivalry last Saturday, but chances are this one will be remembered for a long time. The 8-3 Huskies win at Memorial Arena was reason enough, but the game provided plenty of bad blood, with an incident that led to a confrontation between coaches at the end of the game.
“We were just trying to arrange a spot for a beer after the game,” said Tigers assistant coach Scott Allison.
The Tigers, who have been rebuilding this season, managed to play with the Huskies through much of the first period but that didn’t stop the Huskies scoring two: a high wrist shot over goalie Bobby Nadeau’s glove, and then a second with 1:36 to go in the period. The Dalhousie team didn’t come out in the second period, though, and by the end of 40 minutes, the Huskies led 6-0. Backup Chris Wall replaced Nadeau in the Tigers goal after the fourth Husky goal. Fans were heading for the exits by 5-0. Nadeau, the highly touted former goaltender of the QMJHL’s PEI Rocket, was recruited by Dal in the off-season. Since joining the Tigers Nadeau has four wins in 13 starts and a save percentage of .886 while leading the league in saves-per-game at 31.
“We regrouped after the second—‘Let’s try to win the third,’” said Tigers coach Pete Belliveau.
“We started to run around a little too much and try to do someone else’s job instead of playing your own and you get caught. Next thing you know you turn the puck over and they put it in,” said Benjamin Breault, who made his home debut Saturday after transferring from Florida Everglades. He was a seventh-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2006. Elkhorn, Manitoba-native Devrin Stonehouse found a goal for the Tigers when he banged in a rebound at 9:52 of the third.
Then things unravelled.
The Tigers have had discipline problems all year, and have already had four misconducts for hits from behind. Tiger forward Daniel Bartek had already been thrown out in on Saturday for a hit from behind. The Czech winger has six goals and 10 points for the Tigers this season.
“Kenzie Sheppard butt-ended Scott Brophy,” said Huskies coach Trevor Stienburg. “At that point in the game, there was nothing going on. It was dirty, it was cheap,” Stienburg continued. “He’s a player who’s got no character. He’s not respected in this league.”
Video evidence shows that, shortly after the faceoff following Stonehouse’s goal, Sheppard butt-ended Brophy miles off of the puck. Six-foot-seven SMU enforcer Justin Wallingford then slammed Sheppard into the boards. Then a scrum broke loose, from which Wallingford, Sheppard, the Tigers’ Shea Kewin, and the Huskies’ Brad Smith were all thrown out of the game.
“Do I condone that? No,” said Stienburg of Wallingford’s response. But, he added, “When a liberty’s taken at your player – there was nothing that Brophy had done to deserve that – in the hockey world it’s unacceptable. You don’t let that happen. I know there have been problems with Kenzie Sheppard’s discipline while he’s been there, and I know (Pete Belliveau and Dalhousie) are trying to deal with that. But I don’t need Kenzie Sheppard injuring one of my players.”
To be fair to Sheppard, AUS stats show he hasn’t had a major penalty or misconduct (before Saturday) since he joined the Tigers in 2008. Therefore,  referees haven’t noticed any discipline problems he may have had.
After the game, Belliveau and Stienberg met near the rear entrance and yelling ensued. One of the linesmen tried to calm things down, and, according to Belliveau, there was no physical contact.
“It was a discussion about running up the score. I thought they shouldn’t have had the first power play,” said Belliveau. “When it was 8-2, they had the first power play. You don’t need to have that; they had enough goals. And (Saint Mary’s) took exception to that.”
Tigers captain Jeff Larsh snapped a shot past Husky’s goalie Brandon Verge off a face off to make the score 7-2. Brendon McDonald scored the Tigers’ third goal, and Andrew Hotham scored the third for the Huskies.
“We just thought they were taking liberties with our players,” said Belliveau. “They probably thought we were taking liberties with their players. We’re just trying to play the game and not have anyone get hurt.”
AUS has received no report from the referees about the incident, meaning no suspensions or fines will be issued for the clash after the game.

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