#TBT 2012 Big Blue Tent Brawl
At 9am tomorrow morning we will be launching a brand new summer feature titled ‘Catching up’.
Our aim is to speak to a number of players from Blaze past and look back over their careers, specifically their time in Coventry and find out what they are doing now.
We are pleased to say that the first to be featured will be none other than the former Elite League heavyweight champion, Benn Olson.
Given that, we thought today we’d have a very special Throw Back Thursday.
So, let us take you back to 28th October 2012. The Big Blue Tent in Cardiff was the scene.
Goals from current Boston Bruins forward Matt Beleskey and the now retired Shea Guthrie in the final ten minutes added to an earlier marker by Dustin Cameron who spent last season in Germany gave Blaze a 3-2 victory as the final-buzzer sounded.
And then all the fun started.
As players left the bench for the post-game handshakes, fuelled by a hit to the head of Olson earlier in the game by Cardiff forward Max Birbraer and a social media war before the season had even started, the 6’4” Blaze defenceman dropped the gloves with 5’11” Devils forward Devin DiDiomete.
As Olson was ushered off the ice, he was to be confronted by a Cardiff Devils fan who was later handed an extended ban from attending games at the Big Blue Tent.
That wasn’t to be the end of it though as Cardiff's bench coach, Neil Francis was to have various words with Blaze players leading to an altercation with another former retired Coventry defenceman, a 2015 Playoff Champion - Mike Egener.
DiDiomete who left Cardiff later that season after 25 games was to then leave the dressing room to re-join the brawl. Most recently 'Deeds' as he is well known spent further time in the Elite League with the Manchester Storm and has also appeared in the UK for the Sheffield Steelers.
Watch: #TBT 28th October 2012 - Devils vs. Blaze:
#TBT from a second angle:
Cardiff Devils' Max Birbraer was suspended for eight matches for a hit to the head on Olson, whilst Devin DiDiomete was given a three-match ban his part. Neil Francis was banned from the Cardiff bench for five games.
Mike Egener’s penalty of 'game misconduct' on the night stood and no further ban was given to the Blaze man.
Both Head Coaches, Gerad Adams (Cardiff) and Paul Thompson (Coventry) were warned about the future conduct of their teams.
Following review the Elite League ruled that Benn Olson had acted in self-defence when confronted leaving the ice and thus the penalty was wiped from his record.