Intermission interviews during hockey games are usually benign, with players giving cliché comments before waddling off to the dressing room. But in Austria’s Erste Bank Eishockey Liga on Sunday, the intermission report was anything but ordinary, as a chaotic fight broke out between Chris DeSousa of HC Bolzano and Tom Zanoski of Medvescak Zagreb during a live television interview.
Zanoski, a 33-year-old winger who played in the Carolina Hurricanes‘ system, was about to be interviewed on Servus TV when he and DeSousa, a former Chicago Blackhawks prospect, started trading stick jabs, including one that appeared to strike the intermission reporter.
— Aivis Kalniņš (@A_Kalnins) December 18, 2017
Then the two started trading punches, and the interviewer scurried away with Zanoski’s Medvescak Zagreb teammates watching. Players, referees and arena security at Dom Sportova in Zagreb intervened, and the players were finally pulled apart.
Zanoski and DeSousa were both given fighting majors and game misconduct penalties at 20:00 of the second period, and five other players were given roughing minors. There’s no word yet on supplemental discipline from the league for this off-ice incident.
DeSousa had 19 points in 28 games this season, while Zanoski has four points in 28 games. It’s DeSousa’s first season playing in the Austrian league.