Fighting Sioux live up to name over weekend series

brawl: There was no love lost between Wisconsin and North Dakota, as a major fight broke out with three minutes left in Saturdays game. Ten players, five for each team, were ejected for their involvement.

Image By: Jacob Ela

This weekend's series between the No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers and the No. 3 North Dakota Fighting Sioux lived up to its full potential, as the Badgers trounced the Fighting Sioux 4-0 Friday night, but literally came back down to earth in a 3-1 loss Saturday. 

 

Due to Wisconsin's recent domination of North Dakota - the Badgers had won four straight before Saturday's loss - the stage was set for tensions to be running high. While Friday's game lacked intensity - there were only eight penalties total - Saturday's match was completely different story.  

The stellar play of junior goaltender Shane Connelly during the series seemed poised to be the top story of the weekend, but the all-out brawl that occurred with three minutes left in Saturday's game stole Connelly's spotlight.  

 

With about three minutes left in Saturday's game, North Dakota senior forward Rylan Kaip smashed UW freshman defenseman Brendan Smith along the end boards while his head was down. Soon after, ND junior forward Matt Watkins took a swing at UW freshman forward Kyle Turris as Turris made a move toward the puck.  

 

Once Watkins threw a punch, the rest of the players on the ice followed suit. Because of his early jump, Watkins was handling Turris, until UW junior forward Ben Street came to his teammate's aid.  

Turris was unsure of how the fight started, but said he was thankful for the help of his teammates. 

 

I don't really know how it started. I just remember kind of a bunch of guys in a group ... just kind of a big wrestling match,"" Turris said. ""Then the defensemen came in, and one of them came at me. 

 

""[Ben Street] jumped in for me, he came in right away to help me out. All the guys jumped in. It was everybody sticking up for each other, and it was great to see,"" Turris said. 

 

A total of 10 players were given penalties, including 10-minute misconducts along with two-minute roughing. For UW, those players included freshmen forwards Podge Turnbull and Turris, freshman defenseman Brendan Smith, senior defenseman Kyle Klubertanz and junior forward Ben Street.  

Senior defenseman and team captain Davis Drewiske, who was not on the ice at the time, voiced his disappointment over the extracurricular activities.  

 

""You aren't going to prove how tough you are after the whistle, it's college hockey,"" Drewiske said. ""In the locker room from guy to guy, that's where you find out who is tough."" 

 

However, while many fans were heading for the exits, the most intriguing fight of the night came after the game had finished, when the referees and assistant coaches had to restrain and separate Wisconsin head coach Mike Eaves and North Dakota head coach Dave Hakstol. Eaves would only comment to a point about what words were exchanged.  

 

""I was just disappointed in the mélée that happened and I expressed it to him,"" Eaves said. ""That's all."" 

Eaves was also disappointed with the play of his team in Saturday's affair, as he felt his team came out with a lack of confidence. 

 

""We didn't take care of the puck,"" Eaves said. ""We didn't connect the dots in terms of passing; we didn't block as many shots or win as many battles. And the thing is so disappointing because we had the opportunity tonight against a really good to team to maybe take a step forward.

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