A recent Junior B hockey game in British Columbia is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
On New Year’s Eve, a contest in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) featured over 300 penalty minutes, as well as a line brawl between the Beaver Valley Nitehawks and the Nelson Leafs.
Beaver Valley picked up 177 penalty minutes on the evening to Nelson’s 139.
A video from the crowd of the brawl has picked up over 1,800 upvotes on Reddit as of press time.
Trail Times writer Jim Bailey believes the second-period brawl was targeted in an attempt to take out some of Beaver Valley’s top players.
“The intent from the Leafs bench was obvious, as Nelson coach Adam DiBella sent out his fourth line, prolific in penalty minutes (PiMs) but slight in points, to take some of the Nitehawks top skaters out of the game,” Bailey wrote.
DiBella was suspended indefinitely as a result of the incident.
The video also gained traction on Twitter, with account KIJHLSniper suggesting Nelson has earned a reputation for being a physical team.
“A line brawl to start the second period, we expect nothing less from a “first-class organization” like the Nelson Leafs,” KIJHLSniper wrote.
Nelson’s 912 penalty minutes are currently tied for the league lead.
Adam’s father, Mario, who used to coach the Leafs, responded to the video posted by KIJHLSniper calling the user a “coward” and a “fan boy.”
You are nothing more than a coward, too bad you weren’t in the arena to witness the events leading up to the line brawl fan boy
— Mario DiBella (@MarioDiBella1) January 1, 2023
The score was tied 0-0 at the time of the brawl, in which Nelson ultimately won the game 3-1.
Announced yesterday, five Nelson players were suspended as a result of the game: Marko Pavlovic for three games, and Tyler Seminoff, Leighton Partington, Hunter Sperle and Ryland Mennie (all for eight games).
Meanwhile, four Beaver Valley players: Gavin Tritt, Boris Hristov, Spencer Dixon-Reusz and Kaleb Percival were suspended for two games each.
Nelson and Beaver Valley next meet on January 24, with a few extra eyes now likely on that game as all suspended players will be eligible to return.