|Crowd Trouble at 60:00||Boston Players||NY Rangers Players|
|Duration 2:30|| Ray Bourque Wayne Cashman Dwight Foster Gilles Gilbert Bobby Lalonde Craig MacTavish Brad McCrimmon Peter McNab Mike Milbury Bob Miller Terry O'Reilly Dick Redmond Al Secord Tom Songin John Wensink || |
|# Players Involved: 15|
|Blood: A Bit|
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|Links|| Video Clip available from 23 traders |
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11864 fight reviews
Jul 26, 2012 09:01 ET
|This was the famous night that the Bruins went up into the stands to get at some Rangers fans at the end of the game. The game itself had an exciting conclusion. Ray Bourque made a rookie mistake by taking a shot at the net in the closing moments of the game. There was a big rebound and Carol Vadnais made a beautiful pass up the ice to Phil Esposito. Espo was on a breakaway and was stopped by a great save by Gerry Cheevers. The seconds ticked off the clock and the Bruins escaped with a 4-3 victory. Esposito was furious at missing his chance to earn his team a tie. He broke his stick in frustration and went right to the dressing room.|
The players milled around on the ice after the game. It was hard to determine exactly how the trouble started. Eyewitness reports put Al Secord in the middle of it. John Davidson was mouthing off to John Wensink. Davidson often showed more guts than many of his teammates in these situations. The scrum went along the boards and it looked like Secord was going to have a fight with Frank Beaton.
At this point, a fan grabbed Stan Jonathan's stick. Witnesses claim that he hit Stan Jonathan on the head with his own stick. Terry O'Reilly was furious and went right up in the stands after the assailant. He wrestled the stick away from the fan and fell on top of him. It was hard to determine what happened in the battle next. They men fell in the seats and all you could see was virtually the entire Bruins team starting to pile into the stands.
The fan who started the altercation was James Champion. His brother John also attended the game. There was a fan who landed a few partial connects on O'Reilly as he was grappling with James. This may have been his brother John because he was wearing a gray blazer. Peter McNab grabbed John and threw him into the seats. McNab had a choke hold on him. Mike Milbury grabbed John's shoe and hit him with it a couple of times.
There was a wild scene of bedlam as almost the entire Bruins team made it into the stands. Harry Sinden and Fred Creighton came down in the middle of the fracas and started pulling Bruins players out of the stands. The drama ended at this point as security got involved to break up the incident.
This incident was very costly for the Bruins. O'Reilly was suspended for eight games. McNab and Milbury were suspended for six games apiece. These were very stiff penalties for the era. The NHL began to crack down heavily on these incidents because of fear of lawsuits in an increasingly litigious society. This was a black eye for the league and officials wanted to make sure this didn't happen again.
Another factor in the public relations decision was that there had been great advances in videotaping games. ESPN was in its infancy in 1979 and from now on incidents like this would be replayed for sports fans all over America to see. People didn't even have to watch the actual game to see incidents like this replayed over and over again throughout the day. Before that, in some markets many games were not even televised. If an ugly incident occurred, it usually was only seen in a local market unless it was a high profile playoff game or occurred on Hockey Night in Canada.
This incident was one of the most bizarre spectacles in the history of the game. Players had gotten into it with the crowd before, but it was very rare to see an entire team going up into the stands after fans. The only thing I can compare it to was "The Malice at the Palace" where Ron Artest and his Pacers teammates went after Detroit Pistons fans several years back. I rated this as a ten for fun because this is a scene you will probably see once in your life and chances are very slim anything like this will happen again in the NHL.
| Fun |
912 fight reviews
Feb 12, 2007 11:12 ET
|One of the all time classics. A fan grabbed Stan Jonathan's stick as he was skating by the boards and hit him over the head with it, this of course couldn't be let go unpunished. The heart and soul of the team, Terry O'Reilly quickly climbs over the plexi and gets the fan, wrestling him down. Peter McNab pursues another heckler in the stands and gets him down while Mike Milbury gets the shoe off the fan and starts pounding him with it.|| Fun |
429 fight reviews
Dec 12, 2004 00:49 ET
|John Davidson came down to the Bruins end to say something to either Cashman or Wensink, who had apparently run him near the end of the game...both benches were coming off as it was the end of the game...everyone surrounds JD and whoever he's talking to...then my footage skips a touch, and we see a Bruin and a Ranger talking near the boards...someone reaches over and hits a Bruin in the head, and all hell breaks loose...some Ranger fan ends up getting beaten by his own shoe...this was funny as hell|| Fun |
293 fight reviews
Jul 30, 2005 07:45 ET
|Real old time hockey pearl, classic moment. Fan hits Stan Jonathon in the face, I believe. O'Reilly climbs over the glass to get to the fan and many Bruins follow. McNab really goes after someone and Mike Milbury starts beating a fan with his own shoe. Good job by bruins!|
This was bench clearing event too!
| Fun |
245 fight reviews
Jul 20, 2007 22:44 ET
|It's interesting. You see Milbury hitting the guy with the shoe very clearly, but I never see him throwing the shoe on the ice. Something does fly out of the crowd at one point but it looks like it is coming from somewhere lower than where Milbury was standing.|| Fun |
19 fight reviews
May 18, 2010 08:56 ET
|Jonathan gets hit by a fan with his own stick. O'Reilly loses it and jumps in the crowd to fight the fan. Others Bruins players join O'Reilly in the crowd, notably Milbury and McNab. Milbury beats a fan with his shoe as McNab and the fan fight. a legendary moment of NHL history worthy of Slap Shot.|| Fun |
7575 fight reviews
Feb 12, 2016 12:07 ET
|One of the wildest scenes in my hockey memory. I watched this game live on wsbk (the same broadcast on the clip) and remember it like it was yesterday. Hats off to the one fan that grab hold of the fan McNabb ended up taking down while Milbury grabbed his shoe and beat him with it. This will always live in hockey lore as one of the all time great players vs. fans brawls ever.|| Fun |
Jan 25, 2006 09:32 ET
Terry O'Reilly - 8 games
Peter McNab - 6 games
Mike Milbury - 6 games
Terry O'Reilly - $500
Peter McNab - $500
Mike Milbury - $500
Craig MacTavish - $500
Al Secord - $500
John Wensink - $500
Gilles Gilbert - $500
Gerry Cheevers - no fine
All other Bruins - $200 each
Feb 11, 2007 23:59 ET
Feb 13, 2007 16:23 ET
|James Champion was the fan in the stands that started this.I believe he was charged in the court of law.||Reply|
Feb 4, 2010 19:30 ET
|Newsclip w/ interviews||Reply|
Jul 3, 2015 18:43 ET
|It's often reported that Milbury, after smacking the fan a few times with the loafer, threw it out on to the ice. However, if you watch closely, you can see Milbury drops the shoe after hitting the man with it. From there, it's hard to see what happened to it. After things have settled down somewhat, the camera pans to a long shot with the Rangers watching from the ice in the forefront. An object (possibly the shoe) is seen dropping down to the Bruins standing a few rows down from McNab, Secord and Milbury. From there it is tossed backward toward the ice by one of the Bruins (I believe it is #1, the goaltender Gilles Gilbert who was backing up Cheevers that night) ... It doesn't appear to reach the ice, but rather ends up in outstretched hands, probably belonging to some fans.||Reply|
Nov 1, 2015 15:18 ET