One of the beauties of these three-game series they play in the ECHL is that presents a lot of head-to-head, uninterrupted time to build up some legitimate animosity.
Take the Alaska Aces 3-1 win over Utah tonight in the first of three straight meetings at Sullivan Arena.
Nearly midway through the third period, Utah's Norm Ezekiel took offense to a hit on a teammate by Aces defenseman Dustin Molle. Ezekiel (5-8, 185 pounds) challenged Molle (6-2, 225) and they dropped the mitts. Gotta give Ezekiel some credit -- hey, he was giving up six inches and 40 pounds.
Then, in the waning seconds, there were words and light shoves exchanged between Aces defenseman James Martin and Utah's David Vallorani. And after the final buzzer, Molle and Utah's Teigan Zahn -- at least The Blog is pretty sure in was Zahn -- exchanged pleasantries. Perhaps they were making a date for Friday night's rematch.
Those of you hard-cores in the Cowbell Crew may remember Zahn from a year ago, when he was with the Stockton Thunder. He and then-Aces defenseman William Wrenn fought off the opening face-off -- Wrenn dropped Zahn with one punch.
In any event, if the late going tonight was any indication, Friday's game may feature some fireworks.