Photo of John Scott fighting Matt Foy courtesy of Fred Trask.
Among the unwritten rules of hockey – of any sport for that matter – are that you don’t talk trash about another guy’s girl, his sister, his mother, his grandmother, etc. And John Scott claims that he didn’t do any of that last night. Yet John Scott was jumped by three men, causing two fights as the second period drew to a close.
The Aeros defeated the Peoria Rivermen by a 5-2 score that saw Maxim Noreau break out of his month-long scoring slump, that saw Corey Locke continue to eclipse Joel Ward’s team-high point total from last season, and that once again featured stellar play in the crease from Nolan Schaefer.
But all that the 5199 fans in attendance at Toyota Center will remember is that at the 20:00 mark of the second period, John Scott got into a fight with Peoria’s Cam Paddock. And that while Scott and Paddock were fighting, Peoria’s Jeff Cowan decided to get in on the action. And then, when Scott had finished off the both of them and was skating back toward the bench and the locker room, Peoria’s Matt Foy appeared from nowhere and went after Scott.
“I don’t know what happened,” Scott said. “They just all seemed to want to beat me.”
Coach Kevin Constantine wasn’t exactly clear on what happened either. He didn’t see the beginning of the first fight, looking up as Cowan decided to join in on the fun, and he doesn’t have a clue as to what was going on with Foy.
“I didn’t expect Foy to come off the bench,” Scott said. “I don’t know what he was thinking.”
And apparently, according to Matt Foy, he wasn’t thinking: “It was just one of those things,” he told the Chron’s Andrew Ferraro. “It was a bad mistake, and I’ll take responsibility for it.”
Foy might take responsibility for the fight. But he can’t take responsibility for the rest of the Rivermen’s game. Morten Madsen got the scoring started at 15:11 of the first when he took the pass from Maxim Noreau, who in turn had been fed the puck by Corey Locke, and fired a laser from near the blue line.
The Aeros then took the 2-0 lead in the second period when Peter Olvecky took the rebound of his shot and scooped the puck past the goaltender at 1:39 of the second. Peoria made it 2-1 less than a minute later when defenseman T.J. Fast got loose on his own with the puck. Locke then lifted the puck over the shoulder of goalie Ben Bishop at 12:07 to make it 3-1, and at 13:12, Maxim Noreau ended the night for Bishop with a shot that slipped over Bishop’s glove. That ended the scoring action for the second period, only to have the fighting action end the period.
Peoria’s Ryan Reaves made the score 4-2 at 19:41 of the third, but Robbie Earl, who the Aeros obtained earlier this week in exchange for Ryan Hamilton, got the empty-netter at 19:58 to make the final 5-2.
“It feels great,” Scott said about the win. “That was just a sixty minute battle between two teams that really wanted it.”
These two teams meet again tonight at 7:35 at the Toyota Center. John Scott thinks we should expect “more of the same. Just even more intense. More hitting, more battling…It’s great. I love it. It’s fun.”
SOME MISCELLANEOUS GAME NOTES:
And don’t fret. Mitch Love also got in on the fighting action, as he went at in the third period with Paddock. And yes, Love easily won the fight and exited the ice to the applause of the crowd.
Both John Scott and Mitch Love came within a goal of the mythical Gordie Howe hat trick last night. Scott jokingly thought he would have gotten that empty-netter if Earl hadn’t have gotten in the way.
And Maxim Noreau got his first goal in over a month last night and his first points since January 7th. “I think I’ve been shooting a lot less,” he said. “I’ve been passing up shots trying to make plays.” But he said that the coaches have been encouraging to take his shot more.
Speaking of points, Corey Locke got his 30th assist and his 16th goal of the season last night. He has already eclipsed Erik Reitz’s team high 26 assists from last season, and he is quickly closing in on Joel Ward’s team high of 21 goals from last season. His 46 points for the season are higher than Ward’s team high of 41 points last season. Jesse Schultz, with 33 points (11-22=33) should also eclipse those numbers before the season ends.
For any of you who are interested, Matt Foy can be expecting an automatic six-game suspension for his fight with John Scott. According to the AHL rule book, the first player to come off of the bench in a fight receives an automatic six-game suspension, without pay.
The win was the Aeros fourth straight win. This marks the first time this season that they’ve won four straight since they won four straight to open the season. Their record is now 21-17-1-7 (50 points). Points wise, they are tied for second place in the West Division with the Rockford IceHogs, though Rockford is in second place percentage wise. The Aeros are a point up on the Iowa Chops who are in fourth place.
Peoria is in sixth place with 46 points, and Corey Locke thinks the closeness of the division might be part of the reason for the rough play last night. “They’re playing for the same spot we are,” he said, and with the four points separating second and sixth place, then he just might have a point.
The team has some kind of sponsor named IT’Z. I have no idea what IT’Z is, but whenever I hear IT’Z, I keep expecting Michael Palin to pop up and the theme music of Monty Python’s Flying Circus to start playing.