Crash Bosse vs Nasty Mirasty IV
It was Friday night in Sorel-Tracy, Quebec and the battle for the undisputed heavyweight title of The World Toughest Hockey League was on the line.
The Colisee Cardin in this town about 65 kilometres northeast of Montreal on the shores of the St-Lawrence River was packed on Friday for a North American Hockey League game between the hometown Sorel-Tracy Mission and the rival St-Jean Summum Chiefs.
But more important than the game itself for the crowd of 2,115 was the highly anticipated fourth instalment in a season-long series of fights between the league's undisputed heavyweight Steve (The Crash) Bosse of the Chiefs and Jon (Nasty) Mirasty of the Mission.
While the NHL tries to clean up its public image in the wake of the Chris Simon stick-swinging and Todd Bertuzzi-Steve Moore incidents, the North American Hockey League -- not to be confused with the U.S. junior league that goes by the same name -- brings in fans with the promise of rough hockey and lots of fights.
For instance, Friday night's game had a Wrestlemania-style billing of Bosse-Mirasty IV, and there was no doubt right from the opening warm-up that's what the fans were there to see. [...]
Though Friday's contest was pretty over the top, even for this league, there is little question the fans loved it and left the rink fully satisfied. So while the NHL tries to clean up its image, the season-ticket holder Guevremont says no one had better lay a finger on his favourite league.Ouch!
"The league would have trouble surviving if there wasn't as much fighting,'' he said, shaking his head. "Some people come only to see the fights, others come to see the nice plays, and others come for both. If you took out the fighting, you'd only be left with the ones who want to see nice plays. You'd be left with NHL fans.''
Here's some more of that "over the top" action from Friday nights game between Sorel-Tracy Mission and their rival St-Jean Summum Chiefs of the LNAH. A league which is considered by many to be nothing more than a bizarre spectacle and primal sub-cult of Canada's National Sport.
Yeah, well, they might be right. I guess that's why I'd love to make a pilgrimage to that crazy league someday. I'm into the bizarre spectacles and primal sub-cults of hockey.
It's my guilty pleasure.
One of them.