Oles & Carls toss cans, bottles & Zamboni tires on ice during club hockey brawl; ref injured, police called. This is a friendly rivalry?

St. Olaf Carleton hockey brawl - photo by JULIA AAKERMANITOU MESSENGERSt. Olaf Carleton hockey brawlA college club hockey game at Northfield’s ice arena was the scene of an ugly incident a month ago involving Carleton and St. Olaf students, both players and spectators. I just found out about it this week when a LoGro reader alerted me.

Having behaved badly at times during my college days at St. Thomas, I’m not quick to make a big deal over college kids doing stupid or offensive stuff. But this was over the top.

As far as I know, there have been no public statements about this incident from the administrations of either St. Olaf or Carleton.

Here’s what’s been reported:

Manitou Messenger news: Club hockey team brawls with rival Carls; Team injures referee, prompting police intervention

Spectators howled and jeered as game play took a violent turn in the St. Olaf versus Carleton club hockey game on Friday, March 4 at the Northfield Ice Arena.  The stands were packed with students, predominantly Oles, many of whom began the evening shouting profanities and other negative cheers, including the standard “Carleton sucks!”

The St. Olaf players were just as rambunctious as the fans. “St. Olaf had about as many penalty minutes as they had game minutes,” spectator Thomas Hegland ’13 said. When the crowd threw soda cans and bottles onto the ice, St. Olaf was penalized, and additional bottles and cans along with zamboni tires were thrown onto the ice in retaliation.

Manitou Messenger editorial: Club hockey brawl triggers shame and stitches

After several minutes the fight finally ended, leaving gear strewn across the ice. There were drops of blood from a referee, who had been “seriously injured,” as the St. Olaf student announcer stated over the loud speaker. The referee attempted to pull players apart. As he skated to the bench the fight left a deep sense of shame and disappointment in me.

Not only did I feel shame because of the fight, but also because of the cheers of “F— you, Carleton,” “F— you, Olaf,” “ugly b—-es,” etc., and because of the constant throwing of trash onto the ice. I was even more surprised that one of the St. Olaf students on the bench threw tires onto the ice and then walked out of the arena.

College Confidential story: Hockey Brawl with St. Olaf

There were several other incidents that weren’t in the articles. I have no idea what happened in the St. Olaf locker rooms, but I do know that one of the Carleton players asked the police to watch the Carleton locker room, because St. Olaf fans were lined up outside the locker room when they went back in between periods. My friend’s stick and gloves were stolen when he was in the bathroom. I don’t know what happened in the Ole locker rooms, but I’m sure it wasn’t exactly peaceful either.

Lastly – the fight was ugly and intense. In addition to the players, several spectators actually jumped over the glass onto the ice so that they could join the fight – it was ridiculous. I have no idea who hit the ref, but both schools were equally at fault and it was really startling. I wasn’t aware that the game was called a draw, but it doesn’t surprise me.

In short, it was an ugly game. There were a lot of drunk fans from both schools, and the tensions elevated really quickly. I don’t expect another Carleton-St. Olaf game for a while.

Badjocks.com story: College Hockey Game Turns Into Brawl, Ends With Referee Slashed in Face w. Skate

Naturally, the game was called a draw and the police spent hours afterwords clearing up the brawls OUTSIDE the arena.

The Northfield police report for March 4 only says:

Event Number: LNO110304002932
Date/Time Incident: 03/4/2011 9: 7: 9 PM

This 2008 Carletonian article tells the story of local police ticketing students for alcohol consumption at club hockey games:  Strong Northfield police presence at recent Chiefs game

The question may remain unsolvable. For the more immediate future, one of the written-up students suggested that the school warn students if there is knowledge of likely increased police activity. “I think the school really made a faux pas in this circumstance,” said the student. “A heads-up could have gone a long way… the school knows that students go to the hockey games inebriated.”


  1. Griff Wigley said:

    A prospective St. Olaf parent posted this comment:

    As the parent of a high school student who is very interested in St. Olaf, I find this to be disturbing. Has there been any reaction from St. Olaf’s leadership? I’m not suggesting that they find some of the wrongdoers and “make examples of them,” but I would expect the college to take some meaningful action which states, “This is not who we are.”

    April 1, 2011
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    I wonder if the police issued any citations.

    April 2, 2011
  3. Kathie Galotti said:

    Re: the comment from the student quoted in the 2008 Carletonian: Yes, the hottest issue really is that students should be WARNED that they may be subject to sanctions before they get all inebriated and throw tires on the ice. I mean, don’t the cops know that Carls (and Oles) just wanna have fun????


    April 2, 2011
  4. Michelle Hawkins said:

    The troublemakers(ALL of them) on both sides should be expelled from school immediately.Period.

    Friendly rivalry is not a bad thing but when such things as this happen, they have a bad habit of escalating. Education is distracted(let’s not forget the primary purpose of a college), when the violence spills out into the community it adversely affects neighbors, residents and businesses.

    The students involved are obviously not as interested in their education as they are in causing trouble. It’s not the proper time for their pursuit of education, they don’t have a grip on the focus and ethics necessary.

    Kick ’em to da curb, send ’em home.

    April 2, 2011
  5. john george said:

    Griff- I’m still waiting for you to jump out of the wings and shout, “APRIL FOOL!” Aren’t you? Really?

    April 2, 2011
  6. Phil Poyner said:

    John, you and me both.

    April 2, 2011
  7. Norman Butler said:

    Was any mention made of this incident in the Northfield News or Northfield Patch? Carleton & St Olaf are part of our community and these are our community newspapers. If not, why not?

    April 3, 2011
  8. Michelle Hawkins said:

    Norm- don”t know about why Patch didn’t catch it, but it’s obvious why the NN didn’t carry the story..IT’S HARD NEWS.
    I worked with a reporter from the Snooze for about a year, involved others in his investigation. Was told it would be a series, that they had wanted to do this particular series for some time and I was their way “in”.
    Northfield has a right, a need to know the information provided by me and the others. The reporter was able to witness first hand, up close, what we were talking about.

    The last we worked together was early fall 2010. To this date, despite the urgings I and others have pressed Suzy Rook and Sam Gett with, nothing has been published.

    NN doesn’t do hard news, that would take courage and a sense of responsibily to Northfield.

    April 3, 2011
  9. I had a meeting with some St. Olaf students the week after this incident happened. We were talking about an upcoming exhibit and documentary exploring the rivalry/relationship between the two colleges. The documentary and exhibit are set to open in early May.

    One student was at the game and she was very disappointed with the conduct of the students and the hockey players in that game.

    It is really sad to see this happen.

    I think the bigger question here is what kind of police presence was there at this game? I went to the University of Minnesota Duluth, were hockey is king. At every entrance and walkway you saw police. Granted Duluth and Northfield are a little bit different in size but the concept is the same. Students could NOT swear at the game. If there were F-bombs dropped, the student or whoever was saying it was escorted out of the arena immediately. I once saw them escort three entire rows of students out for swearing.

    A big police presence makes a big difference.

    April 4, 2011
  10. Griff Wigley said:

    I’ve asked the colleges and the Northfield PD for a comment. Greg Kneser, Dean of Students at St. Olaf, wrote:

    St. Olaf is aware of the events and we consider it a serious matter. As a result, we are working with the Carleton Dean of Students Office and local recreation officials to address the behavior of fans and club sports participants at this game. We have long held students accountable for behavior both on and off campus and we will do so for this event as well.

    From the start, we decided to address this incident in concert with Carleton and I believe we will be hearing from them shortly.

    April 4, 2011
  11. Griff Wigley said:

    Carleton has deleted (without comment/explanation) the link to this blog post from their Facebook Wall.

    April 5, 2011
  12. Griff Wigley said:

    The consequences meted out by the colleges for this brawl seem pretty mild to me. No painful consequences now, no retribution made now. It’s all way into the future.

    What are the consequences for the 3 students who are being disciplined? They don’t need to be publicly named but if the colleges are serious about sending a message, the discipline should be made public.

    The Community Action Center is the big loser here. Nfld Patch:

    the annual game doubles as a fundraiser for the Community Action Center of Northfield’s Food Shelf. Canceling the games for the next two years effectively stops the fundraiser that traditionally brings in about $2,000 a year.

    It seems to me that the colleges should requires the teams and the unruly students fans to made amends now. Why not have them host fundraisers now to make up for the $4,000 that won’t be raised for the CAC the next two years? Why not have them do some sort of community service for the city of Northfield as retribution for the hours of police time spent on this incident?

    Has anyone seen any public statements by the colleges yet?

    April 22, 2011
  13. Michelle Hawkins said:

    I agree, the Community Action Center, a place that serves all of Northfield, buit most closely serves the less fortunate that live here, should not lose out because of college kids who can go back home to mommy and/or daddy in another city without a care for the loss they caused here.

    April 22, 2011
  14. Griff Wigley said:

    From the irony desk at the Nfld News: Exhibit highlights good-natured clashes between Carleton, St. Olaf

    “It was a fun idea we came up with a year ago,” said Hayes Scriven, the director of the Northfield Historical Society. “The exhibit highlights some of the more fun stories of this rivalry that has been going on for more than a decade.”

    Bob and Martha Davies, who once a year help out St. Olaf interns with a project, said they learned from the experience.

    “We really didn’t know how notorious this rivalry really is,” Martha said. “I’m amazed how intense it is.”


    May 11, 2011
  15. Griff,
    Back in my comment on April 4, I eluded to this exhibit and documentary. Hope to see you all at the opening on Thursday.

    May 11, 2011
  16. Griff Wigley said:

    Ah, I missed that, Hayes. Thx. Will there be club hockey players from the colleges there for the grand opening? If so, who’ll pick up the tab for the extra security?

    May 11, 2011
  17. hahaha, I do not know if they will be there or not. We decided not to include this episode in the exhibit as it was still to fresh in peoples minds. Also we did not think we could get enough information in the time we had left to present the episode properly.

    However, if any show up can I count on you being the bouncer at the museum???

    May 11, 2011

Leave a Reply