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When Does a Hockey Brawl Go Too Far?

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Like it or not, fighting is part of hockey—even fights that appear to be particularly brutal or violent. But when a sucker punch lands a guy in the hospital with a broken nose and a broken jaw—requiring 18 screws and multiple metal plates to fix the man’s face—some might think the fight has gone too far. That’s what happened earlier this week during a game between the Central Hockey League’s Colorado Eagles and Odessa Jackalopes, in which Colorado Eagles player Brad MacMillan punched Jackalopes defenseman Dave Van Drunen. The punch caused several players from both teams to leave their benches and start a brawl that became so violent the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and the local district attorney have been considering criminal charges, writes The Denver Post.

The Loveland Connection reports that the Jackalopes won’t seek charges in the case, and it’s unlikely the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office will choose to press charges, either. That doesn’t mean there won’t be lasting penalties as a result of the brawl. Both teams will face undisclosed fines for their roles, with Eagles assistant coach Greg Pankewicz, the Eagles’ MacMillan, George Bradley, and Mario Joly, and Odessa coach Paul Gillis all serving suspensions. The fines in the case will be donated to Wilbur’s Fund for Women With Breast Cancer, a northern Colorado-based charity.

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