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Thornton in middle of scrum? Shocker.

1/7/2012

BOSTON -- In an emotionally charged game that featured a whopping 30 penalties

and 107 total penalty minutes, it came as no surprise that Shawn Thornton was

one of the first to get involved.

At just the 3:54 mark of the first period, the Bruins enforcer took offense to some

extracurriculars from the Canucks players near the Boston bench at the end of a

line change.

After the game, Thornton insisted it was Vancouver instigator Maxim Lapierre who

started the commotion by whacking Daniel Paille with his stick.

“He slashed Paisey on the way off, so I let him know I was there. And

then he turned around and speared me in the throat, so I dropped my gloves,”

said Thornton.

Vancouver head coach Alaine Vigneault offered a different interpretation, claiming

it was Alexandre Burrows who was the victim of Thornton’s wrath. “I just saw

Thornton slash Burrows and then come after him,” remarked Vigneault.

All details aside, the altercation quickly escalated as a host of Canucks and Bruins

swarmed in to protect their teammates. Vancouver’s focus, not surprisingly, was

on the 6’2,” 217-pound Thornton. Several Canucks jumped on the Bruins

winger to pry him away from the scrum, but Thornton felt as though he held his

own amid the fracas.

“I knew there were a lot of bodies. I saw the replay between periods. I was just

surprised I could stand up that long with six guys on the attack,” Thornton said

with a laugh.

The scrum stopped play for several minutes, as Nathan Horton broke away from

the mess to fight Vancouver forward Dale Weise and Milan Lucic received a game

misconduct for leaving the bench during the altercation.

“I feel bad that they had seven guys on the ice and Looch [Milan Lucic] was on a

change and he gets ejected for coming in to my defense,” said Thornton in

response to Lucic’s ejection. “So, I feel bad that we lose one of our best players

after all that, but I guess that’s the end of it.”

When the dust finally settled, the Bruins were assessed with five penalties to the

Canucks’ four. Thornton was given two-minute minor penalties for roughing and

slashing, while Burrows and Lapierre each received ten-minute game misconducts

for their roles in the skirmish.

Vancouver emerged from the scrum with a 5-on-3 man-advantage and capitalized

with the game’s first goal off the stick of Ryan Kesler.