The Admirals 25th home opener on October 11 is just 10 days away! So we are counting down the days recognizing 25 memorable moments in the 25 years of Admirals Hockey, in a segment we call 25 in 25. Each day we will highlight a great moment in the Admirals proud 25-year history to get you set for the 2013-14 home opener!
#10 The Brawl with Greensboro Many of you may be surprised to see a brawl highlighted in the Top 10 of our memorable moments countdown. Well there is no doubt that this brawl between two bitter foes was memorable. Especially when 249 penalty minutes were handed out in the first two seconds of the game.
The foundation for the brawl was set nine days prior, when the Admirals defeated the Monarchs 6-1 at Scope. The game started late because the Monarchs were hung up in traffic. Following the Admirals decisive victory, Admirals head coach John Brophy was quoted in the newspaper as saying "They probably weren't hung up in traffic at all. The probably sat out in the parking lot debating whether or not they wanted to come in and get a beating."
Greensboro head coach Jeff Brubaker resented the remarks, and kept the newspaper clipping and put it on the bulletin board for his players to see.
These events set the stage for the January 7, 1994 showdown between the Admirals and the Monarchs at Scope. Believe it or not, this game also started late, as plexiglass had to be repaired during the pregame warmups. It was during this delay indications were pointing toward trouble as the Monarch's burly Don Borgeson (signed just hours before the start of the game) started mouthing off to the Admirals' Victor Gervais and Richie Walcott. As a result, both teams were warned to cool their jets by referee Joe Ernst before the game. However the warning was ignored.
As soon as the puck dropped, Greenboro's Jamie Nicolls jumped the Admirals' Brendan Curley right off the faceoff. Then just seconds later, the Monarch's Greg Capson began punching on the Admirals' Kevin Malgunas.
While these altercations were taking place, Sverre Sears tried to go after Admirals tough guy Brian Goudie, who attempted to ignore the situation at first. However, Goudie's temper got the best of him, and he began waiving his stick angrily at Sears' face, but never actually trying to hit him.
Goudie then charged down the ice towards Greensboro goaltender Patrick Lebrecque.
This triggered several players to leave the bench, one being Borgeson, and the other Walcott. As a scrum of players developed deep in the Greensboro end, Walcott left his feet and leaped into a pile of red jerseys and started swinging.
This prompted Admirals goaltender Mark Michaud to skate the length of the ice to get involved, and he began exchanging punches with Lebrecque.
The teams continued to brawl it out. At one point Malgunas, who was sent off the ice after his initial fight, emerged back onto the ice to help another Admirals player bring down Borgeson.
After being separated, the two goaltenders went at it a second time. During that altercation Goudie got in one more parting shot, as he slugged an unsuspecting Labrecque one last time before skating off the ice. Labrecque exited the game with a gash under his eye.
It took about 20 minutes for peace to be restored. Each team had six players thrown out of the game with 59:58 of game time still to play. In this game, two second equaled 249 penalty minutes.
Greensboro went on to win the game 5-4, and before it was all said and done, Ernst handed out a total of 294 penalty minutes which is currently ranked fourth most in ECHL history for combined penalty minutes in a game by both teams.
Following the game, Admirals players insisted Brubaker and the Monarchs started the brawl.
"We came to play tonight," said Admirals forward Brendan Curley. "They came to goon it up."
The news of the brawl spread all throughout the hockey world. It made headlines nationwide, and was talked about in the local media for weeks after. The incident sparked many debates about violence in the game. In fact, one Admirals longtime sponsor pulled their sponsorship because they were appalled at the incident.
Those who were in attendance that night will always remember the "Greensboro Brawl," and that makes it memorable moment number ten on our countdown.
The 25th season of Admirals hockey opens on October 5 at Hartford. The Admirals home opener will take place on Friday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. against the Binghamton Senators. Game tickets are available through the Norfolk Scope Box Office, all Ticketmaster Outlets, charge-by-phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at ticketmaster.com.
Donít miss a minute of Admirals action by purchasing your season tickets today. Stop by the Admiralsí Administrative Offices at Scope, or call (757) 640-1212 Office hours are Monday - Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Fans can also visit us online at www.norfolkadmirals.com