Saturday, May 03, 2008

OHL final gets heated

Mike Mascioli's jersey is flammable.

That's what we learned last night in Belleville as the Ontario Hockey League final got all fired up at the end of the Kitchener Rangers' 5-2 victory over the Belleville Bulls before 3,600.

After Mascioli left Belleville's Stephen Blunden bloodied in a final-buzzer fight, a Bulls player flung Mascioli's No. 17 over the glass and into the stands.

Someone lit it on fire.
Both teams are guaranteed a spot in the Memorial Cup later this month in Kitchener, so there'll be plenty more opportunities for the animosity to build.

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At 5:12 p.m., May 03, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wasn't a barnburner at all -- of a hockey game, more like a tragedy to rival the Capulets & Montagues. Have lessons not been learned?

I saw the two people pick up the jersey, didn't see it being thrown. Saw the person point to the long trail of blood on the Ranger jersey that came as a result of the fight. Just prior to that, Blunden was helped off the ice with blood streaming off his face from his eye, down his cheek.

It was enough to point to the blood then it should have been either thrown back on the ice or handed to Kitchener Fans. The burning wasn't at all necessary - or sportsmanlike. Belleville fans were not laughing at it or cheering at all. I'm hoping the Ranger fans and the media treat this as a one-off and not brush the whole town with it. It is not the Bulls style either -- remember the team who wore the "18" jersey in Windsor? Same guys.

The hole burned looked like the size of the quarter but the ripples are much larger. The lighter made more of a flame and now emotions do.

A Kitchener Ranger woman grabbed the shirt off the fan who lit the jersey and walked back to the other end of the rink. A scuffle ensued because then Ranger fans were trying to move down the aisle to get to the Belleville fan. We saw security step in, several of them, when what appeared to be a Ranger fan inadvertently decking a Belleville youth (around 10) in the scuffle. The kid was crying like mad. Kids in our area were getting visibly scared.

The guards were asking the Ranger fans to exit the building and had stepped in to try to keep the peace. Some Kitchener fans were still upset and wanting to point of the person who tried to light the shirt. The shirt, in the initial, pre-lighting state seemed quite torn up from the on-ice fight. Fans were worried about having this move into a much-larger brawl.

I made a point of speaking with a nice, older Ranger man when he was boarding the bus. Congratulated him on his talented team (which they are), as are the Bulls or else neither would have the stats they do this year. I said I wished we could have seen Mason in action. He said the same for our young goalie (Murphy was out with injury).

Belleville fans were talking to Ranger fans, many shaking their heads in common unison. The game is on the ice, folks -- the two star-crossed rivals as they are.

At 6:06 p.m., May 15, 2008, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What started out as Ranger pride for the Mascioli burnt jersey quickly turned out to be about a husband coming to the aid of his wife. As the Ranger lady who retrieved the jersey was returning to her seat a large Belleville man attacked her for having the jersey, pushed her over a row of seats, punched her in the ear and started pulling on her hair. The lady's husband then flew down the stairs and punched the man. They both went to the ground before the "fight" was broken up. This man had facial hair so I highly doubt he was 10 years old. The whole incident could have been avoided had there been ushers or security around. All in all the Ranger fans that were there had nothing but a positive interaction with the Belleville fans!


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