WATCH: Former University Of Minnesota-Duluth Goalie Gets In Crazy Goalie Fight
It's not all that often a pair of hockey goalies drop the gloves and duke it out on the ice. That rare sight became a reality on Friday night (March 10) as former University of Minnesota-Duluth goalie Ryan Fanti found himself as the headliner on a multi-fight fight card with the backdrop of an ECHL hockey game.
Fanti, who was with the UMD Bulldogs from 2019 through 2022, signed a two-year contract with the Edmonton Oilers in March of 2022. After signing with the franchise, he was assigned to their ECHL affiliate, the Fort Wayne Komets. The Thunder Bay native is currently 11-12 this season, posting an 0.891 save percentage.
His team was hosting the Wheeling Nailers, the ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, when things got crazy Friday night.
The game saw lots of "extracurricular activities", with the two teams racking up a total of 162 penalty minutes during the game. Of those penalty minutes, 30 minutes are attributed to fighting major penalties.
The first of the three fights of the night came early in the first period, where Komets skater Daniel Maggio squared off against Nailers player Ryan Da Silva. The second fight of the evening came early in the third period, with Matthew Boudens of the Komets and Tyler Drevitch of Wheeling dropping the gloves.
The chippiness of the night came to a conclusion as the third fight on the night's card happened with just 33.8 seconds left on the clock. Fanti's Komets had just scored an empty-net goal, taking their lead to 6-4 over the Nailers, when Wheeling's goalie Brad Barone skated up to Fanti and raised his fists.
After staring each other down for a few seconds, Fanti (in black) struck first with a strong left, then right hook and the two exchanged a few blows. Fanti threw Barone to the ice shortly after, clearly winning this goalie rumble.
Aside from the wild scene of a rare goalie fight that had the crowd going wild, the electric play-by-play from the commentator calling the TV broadcast added some extra excitement to the scene.
Related to this moment, there were a total of 118 minutes of penalty time assessed on a number of players. Among the many penalties, Barone and Fanti each got 5-minute major penalties for fighting, and multiple game misconduct penalties were assessed. Heck, even the Nailers coach was handed a game misconduct penalty.
While the coaches were certainly not happy with the end-of-game brawl, fans in the stands exploded with excitement at the scene, and people across the internet have been going nuts over this now-viral sports video.