OT: Just a Quick Question about College Hockey back in the Day

Submitted by WingsNWolverines on July 15th, 2012 at 7:16 PM

A long time ago back when I was fairly little and not yet an experienced hockey player, my aunt bought me a video for my 9th birthday called "Hockey Fights and Big Hits." To my amazement instead of NHL hits on this video they were all college and minor league and you better believe there was some good shots from State and Wolverine players going head to head against one another. In one clip (and this had to of been like a mid 80s clip possibly early 90s) there was a MASSIVE brawl between Michigan and State in what looked like Munn Arena. Two of the players were absolutely tearing each other part and the official did nothing to stop these two and this fight goes on for about a minute or so. Was stopping fighting not enforced in college hockey during the 1980s or 1990s? I was born in 1989 so forgive my lack of knowledge. This was a nasty fight.



July 15th, 2012 at 7:42 PM ^

I feel like I know what I'm looking for, and I've got nothing as far as NCAA rule establishment and changes.

I have been reading a lot about USA Hockey and Hockey Canada banning fights at the Junior level, which is interesting, and I learned a thing or two about the IIHF rulebook that I didn't know before, but finding old NCAA hockey rulebooks or a timeline of rule changes is not a simple Google search.

Silly Goose

July 15th, 2012 at 7:40 PM ^

There was a lot more fights back in the 90's and early 00's, but rule changes kind of put a stop to that. There used to be some epic fights between Michigan and MSU.


July 15th, 2012 at 7:45 PM ^

Was your aunt trying to encourage or discourage you from playing/watching hockey?  It sounds like you went on in the sport. Did you learn any technique from the video?


July 15th, 2012 at 7:51 PM ^

This was the Bob Gassoff / Damon Whitten fight, but I want to say this was around 2000, if memory serves  - I think this even on Fox Sports Detroit back in the day when they would pick up the odd game:


July 15th, 2012 at 9:37 PM ^

What do you mean, "back in the day?" FSD (and their predecessor, PASS) have long supported college hockey and still regularly broadcast games, occasionally with their top talent.

Don't know what they'll do with the B1G coming, but they deserve considerable gratitude from fans like me for their support and promotion of the sport.


July 15th, 2012 at 9:51 PM ^

You are correct, of course. I was around (granted, in elementary and middle school, but  we had PASS)  for the days of Larry Osterman and Dave Strader doing CCHA coverage (I  think Strader even did Wings games too). I remember them being way to see these games short of going to Yost or Munn. 


July 15th, 2012 at 7:50 PM ^

In 1969-1974. Fighting was fairly frequent between a couple of players at a time, I don't recall fights all over the ice. Very few players went to the NHL back then. They were housed in Rumsey house at West Quad for part of that time.


July 15th, 2012 at 8:28 PM ^

Back in the day (early '90s or so), the NCAA was trying to push a cleaner game on Canadian prospects and parents.  The CHL, as it is now, was more violent and less skillful, and that was the NCAA's angle (plus education).

Naturally, in the game that the NCAA brings everyone to, Michigan vs Michigan State and the Joe, both teams get into a bench-clearing brawl.

After that, the NCAA banned fighting.

Bando Calrissian

July 15th, 2012 at 9:32 PM ^

There were a few truly epic brawls between UM and MSU in the late 90s, including one game at Yost that sticks out in my mind, where there were guys sardined standing up in the penalty boxes, empty benches because all the remaining players were needed on the ice.  Just really, really ugly stuff.  Exciting, but ugly.  I miss fight night at Yost, but I understand the game had to change.

Someone might be able to refresh my memory on this, but it used to be a player who got in a second fight (or was it a third?) fight during the course of a single game got an automatic game misconduct.  So there were always certain guys making their routine trip to the tunnel late in the game, to great applause.  Want to say that ended ~2000?  There was definitely a point where the rules changed and fighting trickled to a halt, and then a second trickle after that about five years ago where it almost entirely stopped altogether.  


July 15th, 2012 at 11:54 PM ^

I can't remember the opponent exactly but I remember a game in 99 or so where there were literally 7 guys in each box and it was complete chaos...


sidenote:  college hockey ruled 10 years ago at yost. When they stopped our cussing and screaming it came down a notch...  still cool but not like it was.  You used to walk into Munn and actually fear for your life a little...



July 15th, 2012 at 10:49 PM ^

I remember a big fight where a bunch of Michigan players got game misconducts in the early 90s.  For the game after that (where the players had to sit out), one of my friends made a sign reading "We Support our Troops".  After the game, he gave it to Aaron Ward who was one of the guys suspended.

I don't remember if those suspensions were from a game against MSU, but it's very possible.


July 16th, 2012 at 9:55 AM ^

The fight was most likely Chris Tamer from Michigan vs. Jim Cummins from Michigan State at Joe Louis Arena around 1991. FIghting rules were the same back then. Those teams just didn't like each other, and those were two of the toughest guys to ever play college hockey. Combined Tamer and Cummins had about 2600 PIMs at the NHL level.


July 16th, 2012 at 12:36 PM ^

In juniors we fought for the first two periods and then played hockey the last period to win the game.   Particularly true in playoff situations.   At Mich we trained with a local guy (Connecticutt heavyweight state champ, if I still remember) and were never discouraged from fighting.   However, I thought it was your first fight that got you the game miskey, not the second one.  One difference between juniors and MIch was the masks we had to wear at Mich in the early 80's.  Hated them and they made the helmet a pain to get off if you wanted to during a fight.