Video: Sheffield Steelers enforcer’s respect for Cardiff Devils fight rival

1
Have your say

This was the moment fans of both ice hockey sides at Sheffield Arena held their breath.

After a full-blooded punch-up in centre ice, Cardiff Devils heavyweight Mark Louis fell awkwardly on to the ice, head-first.

While the fight against Zack Fitzgerald had been a fair one, the visiting player was painfully unlucky in the way he’d plummeted towards the surface, unable in that split-second to protect his face.

When the incident was played on the Arena TV wall, many of the crowd gasped.

After taking a few seconds to come round, Louis skated unsteadily off the ice...only to bravely return later to help his team secure victory.

Fitzgerald wished the 6ft 4ins Canadian rival well, later, and explained the background to the fight.

Crunch: Mark Louis hits the ice, head-first. Pic: Dean Woolley

Crunch: Mark Louis hits the ice, head-first. Pic: Dean Woolley

Only the night before the same pair had dropped the gloves, on Welsh ice.

Referring to the first scrap, the Sheffield d-man explained that Louis had “hit somebody from behind, I had (then) seen the hit coming on Cole (Shudra,) you want to get in there and stand up for your team-mates.

“A couple of guys were running around a bit and it was getting me fired up. I felt it was needed at that time.”

On Sunday, his side were trailing 3-0 when the stepped in.

Zack Fitzgerald v Mark Louis Sheffield Steelers v Cardiff Devils

Zack Fitzgerald v Mark Louis Sheffield Steelers v Cardiff Devils

“Sometimes a little momentum swing can help the team and get the guys excited. Unfortunately at the end of the fight, the guy (Louis) got hurt, you never want to see that happen, hit your head on the ice, I would never wish that on anybody.

“It is unfortunate and takes the idea of the fight out of it.

“He returned to the ice - you have got to give him credit, that is a tough man right there.”

Fitzgerald acknowledged it may be a “little bit awkward” for 2015-16 title-winning Russ Moyer to celebrate Steelers’ Elite League champions banner lifting on Saturday, given the fact that he will be playing for Fife Flyers that night.