Didn’t know where to put this thread but here is some selections from his version of Piestany...
"The game was chippy if anything, lots of penalties. The Russians had nothing to gain by beating us. They were done, regardless of the outcome, so they were spearing and flying at us with elbows and dirty shots. We weren't choirboys, either. Hockey Canada had put together a team of fighters and instigators. l You came at us with a knife, we'd come back at you with a bayonet"
"...in the second period there were more and more altercations after the whistle. Then, near the fourteen-minute mark of the second period, Sanipass and a big Russian started throwing punches with their gloves on. It started when I skated toward Pavel Kostichkin, who had just been checked by Sanipass. He got up and-bam!
-took a shot and knocked me down. This all happened directly in front of the ref, Hans Ronning, who just stood there thinking about what he was going to have for dinner that knight....
And as far as hockey goes, back home we had been brawling almost every game, Everybody was. There was always a big brouhaha. It put butts in the seats. We were taught to react to situations, not think. The coaches really planted that one in us. Hockey Canada knew the situation really well. We'd already had two brawls against Switzerland in a n exhibition game, and then on New Year's Day we played the Americans and had a big shindig at centre ice during the warmup. Chiasson was suspended even though he wasn't involved. Did anyone from Hockey Canada sit us down and say “Look, boys, this is a sensitive situation. We are concerned. You stand to lose if you fight”? No.
So what happened? Valeri Zelepukin, number 10, was after me the whole game because I'd been bugging the hell out of him. “Hey, Natasha, you fucking Commie Russki!” He didn’t speak English, but he got the gist. Anyway, once the fight got going he came at me. We circled each other, throwing a couple of punches, and then both of us went down punching and rolling around. We found our feet again and continued just hammering each other. I was vaguely aware that next to us Chiasson was trying to hold back another Russian from joining us.
Zelepukins had me in a bear hug. I managed to break free and look up, and both benches were coming at us. It was like, “Holy cow, here we go.” I have since heard that Evgeny Davydov, who eventually played for the Winnipeg Jets, led the charge. Anyway, Keaner (Mike Keane) got hold of Zelepukin, and that was it for him. The Keaner took care of two more Russians, including Vladimir Malakhov. Greg Hawgood was chasing a guy while swinging his helmet at him. And Sanipass, who was tough as hell, was a wrecking machine.
The refs went from fight to fight trying to break each one up, but these guys were completely ineffective. The problem was they chose the ref, Ronning, for political reasons. He was a Norwegian, and the International Hockey Federation figured he was neutral. The ref is the policeman. If the policeman lets everybody run red lights, well, everybody’s going to run red lights, right? And these refs were not cops-they were more like mall security. They didn’t skate off the ice they ran
-off. I watched them go
The whole thing lasted for a good fourty-five minutes. They tried turning the lights our, but that didn’t solve anything. It was still dark when we all eventually got tired, picked up our shit and skated to the dressing-rooms, waiting to be called for the next period. We were sitting there trying to recover when Dennis MacDonald, who was the head of Hockey Canada, came in and told us we’d been disqualified from the tournament and what a black mark on hockey it was and how ashamed we should be. He was doing his Hockey Canada thing and we were just amazed. This kind of stuff happened every night in the WHL! This was normal! And the Russians had been in bench clearing brawls at the World Juniors before, with the Czechs in 1978 and the Americans in 1985. Don Whitman of the CBC blamed us for coming off the bench first, when it turns out it was the Russians who were first over the boards.
Some have accused Steve Nemeth and Pierre Turgeon of being cowards because they didn’t step up and fight with the rest of us, and I can see where that level of frustration comes from, but you know Turge was one of the most skilled guys who ever played in the NHL. He wasn’t your typical in-your-face, brash guy. He was just a nice guy who played hockey. Nemeth was the same way. Everything happened so fast. We were in the brawl and the next thing you know we were on the bus going, “What the fuck happened”?” Obviously, we were disappointed that we weren’t able to finish the job.
I think it was a bizarre incident and everybody acted poorly, but I have one good memory. When I got home I received a medal in the mail from Harold Ballard. He had them made up because he agreed with what we done. Brian Williams (with the CBC then, and now a commentator with TSN) kept breaking off, calling it an ugly, disgraceful incident. The guy probably never even laced up in his life. The most adversity he ever faced was making it to his car in the winter. Don Cherry was behind us because he played the game, so he understands the game. I don’t think it gives him the right to be as critical as he is sometimes, because he was never a big success story in the game, but he knows what goes on in the heat of the moment. It gets our of hand at times. That is the nature of hockey.”
Edited by arktoshorse on 11-19-12 08:25 AM. Reason for edit: No reason given.