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Reflecting on the 2014 Mayor’s Cup hockey game brawl between Union and RPI teams


Experience the intense rivalry between the RPI‌ and​ Union men’s hockey teams in the second Capital District Mayor’s Cup. The game on Jan. 25, 2014, was a night to remember, not just for the thrilling 2-1 win by RPI, but for the unforgettable bench-clearing brawl that followed the final horn.

With 6,673 fans in attendance, the tension was palpable as a cross-check by ‌Union defenseman Mat Bodie to the back of RPI forward Brock Higgs sparked a chaotic brawl. The aftermath saw a total of 19 penalties ⁣called, totaling 125 minutes, and suspensions were issued by Union Athletics and ECAC Hockey.

The brawl even attracted the attention of ESPN’s ‍“SportsCenter,” USA Today and The Huffington Post, solidifying ⁢its‍ place in the history‌ of the ‌Capital Region rivalry.

Fast forward to ⁢the 11th edition of the Mayor’s Cup, where⁤ the two teams will face off once again at 6 p.m. ​Saturday⁣ at MVP Arena. Here’s a look back at what happened 10 years‌ ago with ⁢the​ people who were ‌involved.


The tension was high as the clock ticked down to 0:00, and RPI​ players came off the bench to celebrate their first Mayor’s Cup win. However, ​the celebration turned into chaos when Bodie cross-checked Higgs, igniting a brawl that involved both ⁢teams.

Players and referees shared their perspectives on the intense moment, with Bodie recalling the ‍outnumbered situation and Higgs reflecting on the unexpected turn of events.

Referee Chip McDonald emphasized the impact of one ⁢hit changing ⁢the complexion of the⁢ game, highlighting the intensity of the ⁢rivalry.


As the chaos seemed ‍to settle, Union head coach Rick Bennett went after RPI head coach‍ Seth Appert,‍ resulting in‍ a physical altercation that ⁤involved players, coaches,‌ and assistant coaches‌ from⁤ both ⁣teams.

Bennett and Appert both⁢ acknowledged the regrettable nature of the altercation, emphasizing the uncharacteristic representation of their programs.

Union assistant coach Joe Dumais‌ and RPI volunteer assistant coach Kirk MacDonald shared their experiences of the chaotic moment, shedding light‍ on the unexpected turn of events.


After ‌the⁣ chaos subsided, referees and linesmen went back to their locker room to sort out the penalties, spending ‍a significant amount of time reviewing video footage to determine the appropriate penalties for each player.

TU Center general manager Bob ⁣Belber highlighted the importance of security presence between the teams to prevent⁣ further altercations.


Suspensions‌ were quickly handed out by Union and ECACH, with players reflecting​ on the emotional impact of being suspended and the challenges of moving forward⁤ from the intense rivalry.

Union assistant coach Joe Dumais stepped up to ‌lead the ⁤team in the absence of Bennett, highlighting the unifying nature of the​ team in the face of adversity.


The brawl served as a defining moment for the Union ⁢hockey team, bringing⁣ them closer together and igniting a 17-game unbeaten streak that culminated in an NCAA title.

Head coach Rick Bennett⁤ reflected‍ on the incident,‌ acknowledging the defining impact it had on the team and the sport of hockey as a ‌whole.

Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan
Jack Sullivan, an informed and passionate sports reporter, is a former college athlete with a degree in Sports Communication from Ithaca College. Go Bombers!
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