Nasty stickwork fires up Ondrus, Wilson

LANCE HORNBY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Ben Ondrus hoped the anti-fighting faction in the National Hockey League was watching the final minute of last night's Maple Leafs-Tampa Bay Lightning game.

"They want to take fighting out of the game," growled the Toronto forward, "and all the stick work is going up."

Ondrus was referring to Evgeny Artyukhin, the 6-foot-5 behemoth of the Bolts, whom Ondrus claimed was jabbing him liberally near the end of the game and getting away with no retribution.

"Maybe someone beats the crap out of him and he doesn't do it again," Ondrus said. "I was standing there and he put his stick between my legs and he tried to lift me up or something, I don't know what he was doing. I don't think he speaks a word of English so that was another problem."

Ondrus wound up with a 10-minute misconduct, but enraged coach Ron Wilson went one better by berating referees Kevin Pollock and Chris Lee to the point they gave him a game misconduct rather than a bench minor. Loud applause followed Wilson through the exit tunnel.

"I was upset because they allowed a situation almost to escalate out of control," a more composed Wilson said afterwards. "They could've called Artyukhin for a couple of penalties: Interference, stick between a guy's legs and they chose not to. "It almost resulted in a fight and whatever else could've happened. They could have stopped it, we weren't trying to start anything. You don't want to see one of your players put in peril like that."

It's unlikely any further disciplinary action by the league will be taken.

LANCE.HORNBY@SUNMEDIA.CA


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