Herb Brooks-Coached Team Involved in a Pre-Game Brawl in Minnesota

Associated Press

A brawl broke out during warmups of the St. Cloud State-Wisconsin River Falls hockey game Wednesday night, leaving several players slightly injured and prompting police to call for more than 30 reinforcements to control the crowd.

St. Cloud, coached by former U.S. Olympic and New York Ranger coach Herb Brooks, won the game, 4-2, and there were no serious flare-ups once the game got under way.

Not so beforehand.

"Before the game even started, when the players were doing their skate around, they entered into a skirmish and it continued," Police Capt. Ray Schaefer said. "A fan came over the boards and got in the brawl."

Reasons behind the fight were unclear, Schaefer said.

"It started as a bumping, pushing sort of thing, then escalated," he said. "We also heard some rumors that this is a carryover from an earlier game."

Ten players were ejected for fighting, and some fans were fighting with the players when police arrived. It took a half dozen officers to restore order. Police dogs also were called out.

There were no major injuries, but players suffered bruises and cuts, police said.

Schaefer said the fan involved in the brawl was taken to police headquarters, but was released. Charges were pending. He also said two players were taken in for questioning but no decision has been made on whether any charges will be filed.

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