Lewiston, ME – The Danville Dashers (IL) traveled more than 23 hours and 1,331 miles, stopping in Cape Cod, Massachusetts before arriving at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee only to get jumped, both literally and figuratively, by the Danbury Whalers (CT) in an 11-3 victory by the Whalers before nearly 1,000 in attendance in the second game of the Federal Hockey League’s Maine Event.
Both teams tallied 223 penalty minutes as the game became less of a game in the third period and more a fight night at the Colisee.
Devin Guy, who scored a four points (2g, 2a) on the night, made 8-1early in the third period for Danbury.
Just as he got the shot off, he was hit in the wrist by Minot native Mike Carpenter, who was assessed a four-minute minor for slashing.
After he was done serving his penalty, that’s when all hell broke loose in the middle of the third period.Carpenter was attacked at the Danville bench, and as he was getting hit from behind by Cory Fulton, teammates jumped in from both on the ice and the bench to help him out, but like a flash fire it just grew into an all out 1970’s bench-clearing brawl with everyone coming off Danbury’s bench as multiple fights broke out on the ice, and Danville players on the bench throwing punches, including players not even dressed entered the bench area to join the fight.
“I gave him a little whack,” said Carpenter. “There was a lot of embellishment. I didn’t get him that bad. That’s why it was a double minor. I was really going for his stick, but I got him on the arm while he was shooting. They sent their goon out in a 10-1 game and I am not looking to fight or anything, but (Cory Fulton) jumped me when I dumped the puck in (the offensive zone), next thing you know, there bench is coming.”
“I don’t know how they run things over there in Danbury, but they are a mess,” he added. “In a 10-1 game, you don’t need to the send the bench.”
Danbury head coach Phil Esposito said Fulton was doing his job.
“Devin (Guy) took a pretty hard two handed slash across the arm to the point where the arm could have been broken,” Esposito said. “We don’t need that and our guy Cory Fulton, that’s what he does here and he took exception to it and he wanted to go and go take care of it. It’s unfortunate it happened in front of their bench and it turned into what happened.”
Danville head coach Joe Pace Sr., who is only on the third day on the job, danced around the issue.
“I am not going to comment negatively on what transpired,” Pace said. “(Danbury) decided to do what they did and we tried to defend our players and our teammates as we saw fit.”
Fulton received a fighting and an instigator penalty and Carpenter received a roughing penalty on the play. There were 24 penalties called for both for fighting and leaving the bench for both teams.
Danbury finished the night with 155 minutes in penalties, while Danville had – if there was such a thing – only 68 minutes in penalties.
The Whalers had a 2-1 lead after the first period with goals from Chris Clark and Kelly Miller. The Dashers lone goal of the period came from Dan Morini on the power play.
Danbury stretched the lead to 7-1 with two goals from Matt Caranci and Stephen Mallaro, Alec Kirchner, and Matt Moffatt each recording a goal.
After Guy made 8-1 in the third period for the Whalers, Adam Blanchette and Nick Deschenes stretched the lead to 10-1 before the melee ensured.
Danville scored two goals while skating on a five-on-three power play from Chris Affinati and Michal Babkovic.
Guy capped off the scoring with a shorthanded marker with 1:16 remaining in the game.
Peter Vetri made 22 saves in the victory while Nick Wydock and Breton Lindoff combined to make 37 saves in the loss.
Danbury was 0-for-2 on the power play while Danville was 3-for-8.Also involved in the fight for the Danbury Whalers was former Lewiston Maineiac Todd Chinova who played in 2007-2008 scoring five times and adding eight assists in 53 games.
“I miss it here,” said Chinova. “I had a good time here. It was good to see everybody. I had my best friend Matt Bourdeau, Stefano Gilliati, Patrick Cusack here (in 07-08).”
Chinova, who spent time in the Alberta and Saskatchewan Junior Hockey Leagues after his stop in Lewiston, is in his first season as a professional after taking last season off for personal reasons.
“He’s pretty skilled, has good wheels,” said Esposito. “I think it’s a little different game then it was in juniors. I imagine he was a really big kid on the ice and now you get him in here where guys can really skate. The defensemen are bigger and the defensemen play the body. I think he just have to get use to the play here.”
He has one assist in six games with the Whalers.