Ukraine’s Sergiy Derevyanchenko, right, punches Daniel Jacobs during the fifth round of a IBF middleweight championship boxing match Saturday, Oct. 27, 2018, in New York. Jacobs won the fight. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Warning: This article contains violent video.
It’s been said that hockey is the only sport where fights are completely embraced as an integral part of the game.
If you’re unsure it’s true, you may benefit from watching a clip from the AHL Hershey Bears/Charlotte Checkers match Tuesday night.
In the middle of otherwise perfectly proper puck-and-stick play, Charlotte’s Derek Sheppard took off his helmet. Hershey’s Kale Kessy followed.
Both guys ditched their headgear and sticks, and the crowd roared.
The ice skaters put up their dukes like they were sailors in the 40’s.
Suddenly, fans were being treated to a boxing match.
But it wasn’t good — if they wanna punch at each other’s heads, they should do it in the ring, not the rink. They need padded floors.
Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots is fine ’til someone’s skull strikes the hard-as-a-rock ice.
Bad idea, guys.
Nonetheless, they persisted.
Like Clint Eastwood in (the great) Every Which Way But Loose:
Here’s how TMZ described the fisticuffs:
Both guys connected with some violent haymakers — when, suddenly, 25-year-old [Derek] unloaded a right hand that caught 27-year-old [Kale] flush in the face.
Hershey Bears Player, Kale Kessy is in stable condition and being sent to Hershey Medical Center after a fight against Charlotte Checkers Player number 19 pic.twitter.com/n1qO6Q6lXF
— Ian Rapp (@Real_IanRapp) February 26, 2020
It looked like a KO:
[Pennsylvania’s Kale] appeared to be knocked out before his body hit the ground … and you can see immediate concern from [North Carolina’s Derek] and the refs, who waved for medical attention.
Kale was down for about 10 minutes.
The game was delayed about 45 minutes.
As per TMZ, he was released after an overnight hospitalization.
On Wednesday, Kale expressed his gratitude via a statement:
“I would like to send my heartfelt thank you to Hershey Bears fans for their thoughts, prayers and support following my injury last night. Additionally, I’d like to thank our trainers, doctors, EMTs, Bob Goodman, and Milton S. Hershey Medical Center for providing me immediate and exceptional care. I am feeling better today, and I look forward to rejoining my Hershey Bears teammates soon.”
Kale Kessy has also released the following statement: pic.twitter.com/XYucrkZOvL
— Hershey Bears (@TheHersheyBears) February 26, 2020
Those hockey dudes are tough as nails.
But the ice is tougher.
Glad he’s okay.
It makes me wonder: Can this girl skate?
If so, the ice may soon see a new star.
See 3 more pieces from me:
Find all my RedState work here.
Thank you for reading! Please sound off in the Comments section below.