(Reuters) - Eight players were ejected after a massive brawl erupted just two seconds into an attritional National Hockey League battle between the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames on Saturday.
The fiery first period ended with Vancouver coach John Tortorella trying to force his way into the Calgary dressing room, only to be forcefully kept out by Flames players and officials.
In a game eventually won by hosts Vancouver 3-2 in a shootout, both teams started their fourth line and the result was dropped gloves and fisticuffs the moment the opening puck hit the ice.
Calgary’s Chris Butler, Blair Jones, Ladislav Smid and Kevin Westgarth, and Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, Jason Garrison, Kellan Lain and Dale Weise all received game misconduct penalties for their roles in the brawl and were ejected.
Calgary winger Brian McGrattan and Vancouver forward Tom Sestito were the only two fighters not tossed out of the game.
The Flames received 77 minutes in penalties from the fight with the Canucks getting 65 minutes.
Further issues plagued the period which ended with each team being handed 15 penalties for a combined 178 penalty minutes.
Tortorella then attempted to get into the opposing locker room at the first break only to be pushed away by McGrattan and some Calgary officials.
Reporting by Ben Everill in Los Angeles; Editing by John O'Brien