SHAWINIGAN, Quebec. — Mark Hunter doesn't think his London Knights should be taking all the blame for late-game fireworks in their 6-2 loss to the Memorial Cup host Shawinigan Cataractes Sunday night.
TV cameras caught London forwards Greg McKegg and Matt Rupert throwing punches from the bench at pesky Shawinigan fourth-liner Alex Grand-Maison during a scrum with 2.5 seconds left in the game.
"Their player came by the bench and was screaming," Hunter, the London GM and head coach, said. "There's no need for that. Just enjoy your win and skate away. It (the incident) wasn't anything. They were just a couple of shoves, pushing him away from the bench."
The Canadian Hockey League fined the Knights $1,000 Monday for physical contact initiated from the bench. That's twice as much as Saint John head coach Gerard Gallant's $500 hit for blasting the Quebec league and its officals in a rant Saturday night after losing to London.
Grand-Maison, a 17-year-old from Mirabel, Que., didn't expect to be punched by Knights who weren't on the ice.
"Who would," Shawinigan head coach Eric Veilleux asked.
But the feisty forward realizes his style makes him a target.
"I'm doing my job," he said with a wide grin. "They punched me. I'm OK. I'm a pest. That's my job for the team.
"I like to receive a punch in my face. I get a lot of punches, hits, fights. It's fun."
Neither of the Knights players were penalized. Neither side is anticipating any further discipline.