By Paul LaTour, Special to the Tribune
8:04 PM CDT, March 17, 2013
The first 59 minutes, 56 seconds were bad enough for the Wolves. The final four seconds were salt in the wound.
A brawl at the Rockford IceHogs bench marred the closing seconds of the IceHogs' 2-1 victory Sunday before a crowd of 10,321 at Allstate Arena. The teams were assessed 142 penalty minutes for the fight that incensed Wolves coach Scott Arniel.
"We're sending all that stuff in to the league," Arniel said. "All that (expletive) that went on there, they have a history of it. Terribly reffed game too. Got out of hand."
Chaos ruled in the closing seconds when Guillaume Desbiens went through the door at the IceHogs bench while checking Ben Smith. With Desbiens down, Jeremy Morin and other IceHogs began throwing punches, setting off a full-scale melee that ended up with Wolves defenseman Jim Vandermeer fighting on the IceHogs bench.
"I'm not sure what happened there," Desbiens said. "The bench door opened and I fell into it and started getting punched. Of course I tried to defend myself and lost my cool a little bit."
Rockford entered with a league-high 1,425 penalty minutes to the Wolves' 715.
Martin St. Pierre and Morin had power-play goals for the IceHogs. In between, Kevin Connauton scored his fifth goal of the season for the Wolves.
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