How tough is the AHL? Even the goalies rumble

Two starting goaltenders stopped 26 shots Friday in a minor-league game in Norfolk, Va.

They managed to take a few shots as well, treating American Hockey League fans to some rare goalie-on-goalie violence late in the second period of Norfolk’s 4-1 triumph against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. W-B/S goalie Jeff Deslauriers got himself tossed after squaring off with Norfolk’s John Gibson.

Deslauriers started the fireworks with a soft right hand to the head of Admirals skater Zack Stortini near the crease as a whistle stopped play, The Virginian-Pilot reported. Gibson dished out a glancing shove when the clubs skated to their benches while officials determined penalties.

But when the teams broke their huddles, Deslauriers shoved Gibson to set off the main event. They grappled momentarily and then Gibson flipped Deslauriers on his back as players from both teams watched, some tapping their sticks on the ice in approval of the goalies’ burst of pugilistic energy.

Deslauriers was assessed a game misconduct along with lesser penalties, and Gibson was hit with a pair on roughing minors, which more than a few goalies would regard as a badge of honor.

"You react," Gibson told the paper after finishing with 20 saves. "You don’t go into a game looking to fight. It happens, and you react to it."