Welcome to Ice Wars, the most action-packed combat sport you will ever witness. It’s a combination of the best of ice-hockey style fighting, boxing and elements of MMA rolled into one.
Most of the combatants come from an ice hockey and/or lacrosse background before moving on to professional or semi-professional prize fighting.
The rules and regulations of Ice Wars have both similarities and differences to other prize-fighting leagues. Key things to know:
- 10-point must scoring system, 3 judges at rinkside.
- Two one-minute rounds per bout, unless scheduled for three rounds
- If the fight is scored a draw after two rounds, there is a one minute tiebreaking (“Ice Breaker”) round to determine a winner.
- All fighters wear 4-ounce, MMA-style gloves and a hockey helmet.
- Only punches are allowed, ala boxing or a hockey fight. No elbow or knee strikes, headbutting or tripping is permitted, nor is striking an opponent while he is down on the synthetic ice surface.
- Combatants are prohibited from intentionally removing an opponent’s helmet. If a helmet comes off within the natural course of the fight, the bout continues. However, upon the next break in the action at the referees’ discretion, a fighter may replace his helmet on his head.
Points System and Rankings
OFFICIAL ICE WARS POINT SYSTEM
– Any Ice Wars Single Bout …………………………………………20 Points
– Any Ice Wars Tourney Bout ……………………………………. 30 Points
– Going Distance Any Bout …………………………………… 10 Points
– Any Ice Breaker Round ………………………………………… 15 Points
– Every Win ……………………………………………………….30 Points
– Win By KO/TKO ……………………………………………….50 Points
– Make the Finals in ANY tournament ………………. 75 Points
– Tournament Winner / Crowned King ………………100 Points
– Crown Defense Win …………………………………150 Points
This is for EACH fight. For example, a single bout Crown Challenge defense win gives the competitor 150 Points. If in a multi-fight tournament where he is crowned King, he receives 150 Points for EACH win in that tournament.
ICE WARS DIVISIONS / WEIGHT CLASSES
Superheavyweight 235lbs +
Heavyweight 205lbs – 235lbs
Cruiserweight 175lbs – 205lbs
Middleweight 155lbs – 175lbs
Lightweight 140lbs – 155lbs
- Each Division will have a ‘King’.
- Each Division will have a top-10 Standings.
- Divisions and Weight Classes are for Tournaments only – There can also be cross-division single bouts, grudge matches and special attractions.
- Points can be carried over / transferred to any Division.
- Points can be ‘challenged’ by fighters to make things more interesting (wagering).
- Points incentives for guarantees and minimums.
- Points system can be used for ‘TEAM’ tourneys and specialty bouts, etc.
- Points go to zero after 18 months of inactivity.
For additional information about Ice Wars and breaking news, visit our website at www.iwifights.com and our Twitter feed (@iceiswar).
ICE WARS II: AUG 6, 2022, ON FITE TV
If you missed the inaugural Ice Wars event back in May, we’ve got you covered. There’s a full recap and highlights summary of all 10 bouts from IW1 later in this newsletter. Before looking back, though, let’s look ahead.
The second Ice Wars event will be streamed live on Fite TV ($19.99 U.S. to purchase) on August 6, 2022. As with the inaugural event, the card will be held at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch, Alberta, near Edmonton.
This time, there are 15 scheduled fights, with the main event pitting newly crowned heavyweight “King of the Rink” Daniel Amesbury against “Cowboy” Kurtis Swanson in a three-round match. Additionally, the card will feature the first King of the Rink tournament for competitors in the cruiserweight class.
Phil Giubileo, the former Danbury Trashers ice hockey broadcaster, will handle play-by-play duties at rinkside, along with longtime NHL player and color analyst Chris Therien. Famed minor league and Chicago Blackhawks enforcer Sean “the Sheriff” McMorrow will also provide expert analysis and conduct interviews.
Here’s a run-down of the scheduled bouts, a Tale of the Tape — or, as we call it, a “Helmet-to-Helmet” — comparison of the combatants, and some scouting reports on what to look for from each fighter.
Main Event: Daniel Amesbury vs. Kurtis Swanson
Helmet-to-Helmet: The 31-year-old Amesbury, a native of Maple Ridge, British Columbia, stands 6’0″ and weighed 221 pounds at the inaugural event. He went 3-0 with two knockouts in winning the super-heavyweight King of the Rink. He has a 76-inch reach.
The 38-year-old Swanson, a native of Lavington, British Columbia, stands 6’2″ and weighed in at 270 pounds at the inaugural Ice Wars. He went 1-1, winning his first bout by knockout and losing in an overtime split decision in the semifinal. He has a 78-inch reach.
Scouting Report: Amesbury showed at the inaugural event that he is not the least bit intimidated in going up against larger opponents. He was knocked down a few times but always got right back up. He is in outstanding physical condition, which gave him an ever-increasing advantage as fights moved along against significantly older opponents. Lastly, keep an eye on ability “Diamond Hands”‘ shows to effectively switch hands and the speed with which he unleashes punches.
Swanson’s loss to former American Hockey League player Justin “Bonesaw” Sawyer in the tie-breaking “Ice Breaker” round at Ice Wars I was by the narrowest of margins. Many, in fact, thought that Swanson had slightly edged out Sawyer through the two regulation rounds. When he has his right hand free, he throws bombs. The Cowboy may have the early edge against Amesbury.
King of the Rink Cruiserweight Tournament Quarterfinals
QF1: Bo “Jawbreaker” Cornell vs. “Primetime” Kyle Zavitz
Helmet-to-Helmet: The 23-year-old Cornell, a native of Legal, Alberta, suffered a knockout loss to the more experienced Travis Cech in the inaugural event. Cornell stands a well-knit 6-foot-3 and weighed 202 pounds at Ice Wars I. He has a 76-inch reach.
The 27-year-old Zavitz, hails from London, Ontario. He has a low center of gravity at 5’9″ and roughly 190 pounds. He has a 69.5 inch reach.
Scouting Report: Cornell was overwhelmed by the ultra-aggressive attack that “Loose Cannon” Cech threw at him in the first round of their Ice Wars I bout. However, he showed some quick counterattacking ability and the first bout served as a good learning experience. Zavitz, meanwhile, is making his Ice Wars debut but is no stranger to combat sports, as he has both a boxing and MMA background.
QF2: ‘Haymaker’ Justyce Smoke vs.Taylor ‘Aces’ McNeill
Helmet-to-helmet: The 24-year-old Smoke hails from Morris, Manitoba. He defeated “Paddywhack” Keegan McGraw in the opening match at Ice Wars I. Smoke stands 6-foot-1 and weighs in the 200-pound range. He has a 76.5 inch reach.
The 26-year-old McNeill, a native of Okotoks, Alberta, stands 5-foot-7 and weighs about 180 pounds. He’ll be making his Ice Wars debut. He has a 67-inch reach.
Scouting Report: Smoke lived up both his nickname and his surname in his debut match against McGraw, smoking his opponent with a couple haymakers and taking control of the fight. He’ll have a decided height and reach advantage over McNeill, which may or may not come into play. McNeill boasts surprising wallop in his overhand lefts. Coming from a hockey and lacrosse background, McNeill holds a team record for the most career fighting majors among any player in Okotoks Marauders history.
QF3: “Loose Cannon” Travis Cech vs. Malcolm ‘The Hammer’ Huemmert
Helmet-to-helmet: The 32-year-old Cech hails from Calgary. Standing just 5-foot-7, he packed 205 pounds on his frame at the Ice Wars I. He earned a quick knockout win over Cornell on that night. He has a 68-inch reach
A 23-year-old Edmonton native, Huemmert stands 5-foot-9 and weighs about 205 pounds. He’ll make his Ice Wars debut at this event. “The Hammer” has a 70-inch reach.
Scouting Report: This is the latest installment of the seemingly never-ending rivalry between the denizens of Calgary and Edmonton. Cech has a fighting style on the ice somewhat reminiscent of famed longtime NHL player Theoren Fleury. He’s a little Tasmanian devil; a whirling dervish of tenacious energy. On the octagon’s artificial ice surface, he lives up to his “Loose Cannon” nickname. Huemmert, meanwhile. comes from a hockey (where he racked up over 500 career PIM and accumulated more than five multi-game suspensions) and boxing background.
QF4: Justin “Bull” Schmit vs. “Bad News” Jody Biedermann
Helmet-to-helmet: The 37-year-old Schmit, a native of Strathmore, Alberta, stands 5’10” and weighs about 200 pounds. He’s making his Ice Wars debut. “Bull” has a 70-inch reach.
Biedermann, who hails from Moose Factory, Ontario, is also 37 years old and making his Ice Wars debut. He stands 6’0″ and weighs about 190 pounds. “Bad News” has a 75-inch reach.
Scouting Report: Schmit is giving up five inches of reach but is used to doing battle with opponents of various sizes. He has over 300 fights on his resume between junior, semi-pro and minor league pro hockey including racking up 118 penalty minutes in just 12 games in the Central League for the Rocky Mountain Rage back in 2007-08. Biedermann, who shares the nickname “Bad News” with legendary 1970s WHA and NHL enforcer Gilles Bilodeau, is arguably an even more infamous fighter, with over 1,000 penalty minutes (and more career suspensions than goals) during his Junior A hockey days.
Single Bout: Corey “Alley Train” Allen vs. James “The Hooligan” Brooks
Helmet-to-Helmet: The 38-year-old Allen, hailing from Dundalk, Ontario, stands 6-foot-1 and weighs in the 280-pound range (281 at Ice Wars I). He suffered a loss to Tippin in the King of the Rink heavyweight quarterfinals. He enters Ice Wars II ranked No. 5 among superheavyweights. Allen has a 75-inch reach.
The 36-year-old Brooks, hails from Chicago, The superheavyweight stands an even 6-feet tall and has a 72-inch reach. He’ll make his debut at Ice Wars II.
Scouting Report: Allen, a prolific veteran hockey fighter with 17 seasons of junior and semi-pro experience, is not one to dwell on a single loss. He had some issues keeping his balance on the synthetic ice surface at Ice Wars I but this is an adjustment he can handle in moving forward. Brooks, who took on all comers in the fight-filled and chaotic Class-A minor league All-American Hockey League and Federal Hockey League circuits, will not easily yield to “Alley Train”. Both big men can really swat.
Single Bout: “Night Train” Dustin Thompson vs. Ryan “Rall Sauce” Allen
Helmet-to-Helmet: 36-year-old Edmonton native Thompson stands 5-foot-11 and weighs 170 chiseled pounds. He has a 72-inch reach. Thompson played midget hockey before focusing on boxing. He’ll make his Ice Wars debut. Fellow Canadian-based combatant Allen hails from New Liskeard, Ontario. The Cambrian College alum is the host of the popular “Between the Benches with Rall Sauce” podcast. He’ll debut at Ice Wars II.
Scouting Report: Thompson, a highly successful amateur boxer with over 30 bouts to his credit, is a very well-conditioned athlete with a low body fat percentage, speed and deceptive power. He is the prohibitive favorite against “Rall Sauce” in this cruiserweight match.
Single Bout: Braeden Boschman vs. “Huckleberry” James Redmond
Helmet-to-Helmet: Nicknamed “Boschfilthy”, the 27-year-old Boschman hails from Cross Lake Manitoba. Standing 6-foot-3, the superheavyweight tips the scales at around 280 pounds. He boasts an 80-inch reach.
Redmond, age 24, hails from Murrietta, California. He stands 6-foot-3 and has a 79-inch reach.
Scouting Report: Both superheavyweights are making their Ice Wars debut in this match. In hockey, Boschman has averaged one fight for every two games played. At his size, he’s willing to take a few shots in order to land one bomb of his own.
Single Bout: Jean-Francois “the Beast” LaFrance vs. “Razor” Jordan Roach
Helmet-to-helmet: The 35-year-old LaFrance hails from Quebec City. A well-known semi-pro hockey brawler in the infamous LNAH, he stands only 5-foot-10 but weights ca. 245 pounds. “The Beast” has a 73-inch reach. He suffered a knockout loss at Ice Wars I and enters this match ranked No. 7 among superheavyweights.
The 40-year-old Roach comes from North Battleford, Saskatchewan. He stands 6-foot-3. During his hockey prime, he weighed about 225 points. Roach, who will make his Ice Wars debut, has a 76-inch reach.
Scouting Report: Both combatants have played in the LNAH. In Roach’s case, “Razor” has played both major junior (Medicine Hat Tigers, Western Hockey League) and Junior A (in British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) hockey. He subsequently plied his trade in lower minor-league (UHL, Central League) and semi-pro circuits. Most notoriously, Roach once compiled an astounding 543 penalty minutes in just 43 games for the Manitoba Junior Hockey League’s Selkirk Steelers.
Single Bout: Blake “Shake ‘n’ Blake” Anderson vs. “Viking” Cole Johnson
Helmet-to-Helmet: The 30-year-old Anderson is an Edmonton native. The 6-foot tall cruiserweight has a 72-inch reach.
Johnson, 24, comes from Saskatoon. The 6-foot-2 cruiserweight has a 75-inch reach.
Scouting report: Both combatants are making their respective Ice Wars debuts. This is a rather even matchup on paper. Anderson has more experience on his side, while Johnson has youth and a not-insignificant edge in size and reach.
Single Bout: “Paddywhack” Keegan McGraw vs. “Jethro” Dallas Otto
Helmet-to-helmet: The 29-year-old “Paddywhack” came out on the short end of his match with Smoke at Ice Wars I. The 6-foot-3 superheavyweight is a native of Pontiac, Michigan. He weighed in at 252 pounds at Ice Wars I.McGraw has a 76-inch reach. He is ranked No. 8 among superheavyweights.
Otto, 25, hails from Okotoks, Alberta. The 6-foot-2 superheavyweight has a 75.75 inch reach. He’ll make his Ice Wars fighting debut at this event.
Scouting Report: “Paddywhack” is unafraid to go toe-to-toe with any opponent. His reach advantage was neutralized by Smoke at Ice Wars I. Now, he’s facing an opponent with virtually identical reach to his own.Look for him to launch a straightforward attack. For this event, Otto is donning a hockey-style jersey. At the inaugural event, he served as one of the referees. .United States Hockey Hall of Famer Paul Stewart made the transition from an enforcer as a player to a longtime NHL referee. Otto is attempting to do the same thing in reverse!
Additional Bouts: Jordan “Moose” Kennedy, the No. 1 heavyweight contender to Amesbury, will take on a yet-to-be-finalized heavyweight opponent (as of this writing) at Ice Wars II. There may also be a pre-show “dark match” with the winner fighting Kennedy later in the evening.
ICE WARS I RECAP: AMESBURY WINS KING OF THE RINK
On May 21, 2022, the inaugural King of the Rink tournament was held at the River Cree Resort and Casino in Enoch, Alberta, and streamed live on Fite TV.
Eight heavyweight combatants did battle in the octagon-shaped synthetic ice hockey rink. They competed to be crowned the first King of the Rink and earn a $15,000 prize. In addition to the main tourney, there were also three “grudge matches” featuring younger fighters battling to make a name for themselves.
Entering the tournament as something of an underdog with a quarterfinal round meeting against the legendary Derek “the Lion” Parker, Daniel “Diamond Hands” Amesbury opened everyone’s eyes by not only defeating Parker in an instant classic of a bout but by going on to defeat Chase Tippin and Justin “Bonesaw” Sawyer to claim the first King of the Rink championship and $15,000 prize.
Grudge Match 1
“Paddywhack” Keegan McGraw vs. Justyce “Haymaker” Smoke
McGraw, a fiery former junior hockey goaltender who racked up over 200 penalty minute,held a two-inch height advantage and 32-pound weight advantage over Smoke, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound former Junior C hockey player and lacrosse player. Most of the match, however, was fought in close quarters, neutralizing “Paddywhack’s” slight edge in reach and size.
The two combatants came out throwing lefts, and both lost their helmets in the first round. The first round was fast-paced, with Smoke controlling the early and late part of the round. However, he was backed up by an overhand right from McGraw.
Smoke scored a quick knockdown early in the second round. The pace slowed a bit as both fighters showed some signs of fatigue. McGraw, who sustained a small cut near his right eye, absorbed the heavier shots, including a left hook from Smoke. Late in the fight, trying to make a good final impression on the judges, both combatants exchanged flurries of mostly left-handed punches.
Winner by unanimous decision: Justyce Smoke.
King of the Rink: Quarterfinal Match 1
Justin “Bonesaw” Sawyer vs. Travis “Bucket Head” Levitsky
This was a matchup between two monster-sized competitors: the 6-foot-6, 294 pound Sawyer against the 6-foot-3, 324-pound Levitsky was the heaviest combined weight of any bout at the event.
Sawyer played as a rugged defenseman in the American Hockey League (AHL) level at the height of his 10-year hockey career. Meanwhile, “Bucket Head” came in with over 100 fights on his resume, and dressed in eight games for the Lashburn Flyers of Saskatchewan Senior Hockey League (SSHL) in 2021-22.
Levitzky was pulled off balance early in round one and lost his helmet but was still able to connect with a right that knocked down Sawyer. “Bonesaw” popped right back up to his feet. Moments later, in a virtual instant replay, Levitzky lost his helmet again but managed to pull Sawyer off-balance enough to register another flash knockdown. Sawyer again got right back to his feet.
Sawyer seemed to be struggling to adapt to the artificial ice surface. Not for long!
After Levitzky replaced his helmet, the two gladiators traded off a series of overhand rights, with Sawyer cleanly landing the heaviest punch. Sawyer then proceeded to knock down “Bucket Head”, bloodying his nose. “Bucket Head” also lost his helmet for the third time in the round. Levitzky got back up, although he looked unsteady. The referees stopped the fight at the 52-second mark.
Winner by TKO: Justin Sawyer
King of the Rink: Quarterfinal Match 2
Corey “Alley Train” Allen vs. Chase “Tip” Tippin
Tippin, a 6-foot-3, 282-pound veteran of the battles minor league junior and semi-pro Federal Prospects Hockey League (FPHL) and Federal Hockey League (FHL) provided stout opposition to the 281-pound:”Alley Train”, who had over 200 career fights and 1,500-plus penalty minutes on his junior A (BCHL) and America West Hockey League record. They had previously fought each other, with Allen winning a blood-soaked bout.
Eager for revenge, Tippin came out throwing a series of rapid rights, and quickly knocked down Allen in the opening 21 seconds of the first round. Allen shook it off and the combatants moved back to the middle of the octagon. Tippin promptly landed two crushing punches and Allen went down again. “Alley Train” gamely rose to his feet again and absorbed several more punches — mostly to the back of the helmet– and lost his balance on the synthetic ice. Tippin grappled him down again briefly as the lopsided first round ended.
The two men waited each other out to start the second round. Then “Tip” started to hammer away again, and took Allen down again, almost in wrestling-style fashion. When they reengaged, Tippin was able to grab the back of Allen’s hockey jersey with his left hand and fire rights from in close. Pulled off balance, Allen went down yet again with 24 seconds left in the bout.
Allen, struggling mightily with his balance on the octagon’s artificial ice, then went down again in what was ruled a slip. Knowing that he had the victory sewn up barring a last-second miracle from Allen, Tippin struck a defensive posture and kept his distance for the final few seconds.
Winner by unanimous decision: Chase Tippin
Special Guest: Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart, a native of suburban Edmonton, was on hand for the event. He was interviewed while sitting at rinkside, and served as a guest commentator for the next bout. Asked to name the toughest player on the Flyers, Hart selected Zack MacEwen. Not long thereafter, the Flyers signed veteran tough guy Nicolas Delauriers to a four-year contract.
King of the Rink: Quarterfinal 3
Jean-Francois “The Beast” LaFrance vs. “Cowboy” Kurtis Swanson
A fixture in the rough-and-tumble semi-pro LNAH in Quebec, “The Beast” is known for his low center of gravity and heavy punching power at 5-foot-10, 230 pounds. He is coming off a season in which it took him just eight games to rack up 50 penalty minutes for Laval during the 2021-22 season. The 6-foot-2, 270-pound Swanson, is also accustomed to the LNAH wars including a 484-penalty minute season.
LaFrance came out fighting defensively against his taller opponent until he was able to get to the inside. The two combatants then hammered away with rights on one another. “Swanny” suffered a cut near his right eye. Finally, Swanson landed an upper-cut that buckled “the Beast’s” knees and grappled the Quebecois fighter to his knees.
When they locked up again, Swanson used his reach advantage to land a couple jab-like punches and keep LaFrance at bay. After the round, Swanson’s corner went to work on the cut, while LaFrance tried hard to catch his breath and shake off the sting of the uppercut he’d taken. He, too, was also bleeding.
Fourteen seconds into the second round, after LaFrance missed with a punch and went off-balance, Swanson landed another heavy right that sent “the Beast” down sprawling to the ice. Digging deep, LaFrance rose to his feet and resumed fighting.
Swanson moved right back in aggressively and landed yet another knockdown. LaFrance got back to his feet with 38 seconds left in the bout and vehemently insisted to the referee that he was OK to continue. However, six seconds later, both combatants slipped to the ice as “the Cowboy” attempted to finish him off. LaFrance fell heavily. The referees stopped the fight.
Winner by TKO: Kurtis Swanson
King of the Rink: Quarterfinal 4
Derek “the Lion” Parker vs. Daniel “Diamond Hands” Amesbury
The 6-foot-2, 265-pound Parker, a legendary minor league fighter in the old International Hockey League and lower-level circuits with over 400 career fighting majors, entered this fight as the favorite. He was the winner of the Ice Warriors championship back in 2010. The 6-foot, 210-pound Amesbury had youth on his side (he’s seven years younger than Parker as well as a cardiovascular conditioning edge. In his hockey background, Amesbury was an accomplished junior hockey fighter in his native British Columbia as well as the SPHL and Central League.
Amesbury was not about to wait for Parker to measure him. He came out throwing rights in high volume. When Amesbury lost his balance, Parker drilled him with a right cross and knocked him down. Amesbury got up quickly.
Parker moved back in, looking to land a big hook. Instead, “the Lion” waded into a big right from Amesbury. Parker backed up but only a half-step. The experienced veteran started throwing haymakers and caught Amesbury with one that knocked “Diamond Hands” down for the second time with 28 seconds left in the opening round.
Parker raised his arm triumphantly but prematurely. Amesbury somehow shook off the punishment and resumed fighting. The two fighters proceeded to go toe-to-toe. Although Parker seemed to throw the heavier punches, Amesbury had the faster hands and quicker counters. Finally, Amesbury landed a right that sent Parker down hard with 13 seconds left in Round One. Now it was Parker’s turn to shake it off.
As the second round started, Amesbury landed a one-punch knockdown with a single overhand right. Parker seemed more stunned that hurt but was more cautious and defensive after he first resumed. At the 19-second mark, Parker landed a right hook that connected with the side of Amesbury’s helmet and knocked the younger fighter down.
With time winding down Amesbury got turned around. He then tried to surprise his burlier opponent by switching hands and throwing lefts. One landed but did not have much force behind it. In a clinch, both slipped.
Parker appeared to be tiring. Amesbury again caught him with a quick right, and the 38-year-old went down. Parker got up and the horn sounded to end the second round. With plenty of hard-earned respect for one another, the two combatants embraced before awaiting the decision from the judges.
The back-and-forth bout was declared a draw — one round apiece — by the three judges. This necessitated a 30-second “Ice Breaker” round.
Five seconds in, Amesbury landed the second of two rights. Parker hit the deck but got back up yet again. However, he seemed wobbly and off-balance as he shoved “Diamond Hands” back to the boards and tried to tie him with his left arm and punch with the right. Parker missed and Amesbury tagged him once again. To his credit, an exhausted Parker had one big uppercut attempt left in him, but Amesbury did not catch the brunt and threw the final landing punch of the exhilarating bout.
Winner by overtime split decision: Daniel Amesbury
Grudge Match 2: Jordan Kennedy vs. Ben “Jets” Kennedy
Sibling rivalry: In this bout, 31-year-old, 5-foot-10 and 229-pound Jordan Kennedy squared off against his 39-year-old brother Ben (5-foo-t-11, 262 pounds).
Older brother Ben struggled with his balance right from the outset. At the 30-second mark, Jordan landed a shot that knocked Ben down heavily. He did not get up in time to resume.
Winner by knockout: Jordan Kennedy
King of the Rink Semifinal 1:
“Cowboy” Kurtis Swanson vs. Justin “Bonesaw” Sawyer
After sizing each other up for the opening 10 seconds, the two fighters fought from in close and traded punches for the duration of the first round. The cut Swanson sustained in the LaFrance bout reopened. There were no knockdowns, however, and neither fighter gained a clear-cut advantage.
The second round was also very evenly fought. Both combatants seemed to be tiring but finished strong with a flurry of rights after grabbing on to each other’s jerseys.
This fight became the second of the night to go to an Ice Breaker round. The opponents, who seemed to be tiring in Round 2, dug deep into their energy reserves and traded off a series of rights. Sawyer threw more punches and both landed with a few blows and bloodied each other’s noses.
Winner by overtime split decision: Justin Sawyer
King of the Rink Semifinal 2:
Daniel “Diamond Hands” Amesbury vs. Chase “Tip” Tippin
After surviving his first-round war with Parker, Amesbury entered the semis needing to rely on his outstanding physical conditioning and stamina to earn a trip to the final against Sawyer. By comparison, Tippin had a less difficult time dispatching Allen in the quarterfinals. There was also a longer break between bouts for Tippin.
Amesbury landed first but Tippin landed harder, scoring a knockdown in the opening seconds of Round One. He took a deep breath, got up and re-engaged. After the next tie-up, Amesbury’s superior speed came into play, landing a right that jolted Tippin and then following it with two additional stiff rights that sent Tippin down to the synthetic ice. “Tip” got up, but had blood streaming from his nose and looked glassy-eyed back in his corner.
The referees stopped the fight.
Winner by TKO: Daniel Amesbury
Grudge Match 3
Bo “Jawbreaker” Cornell vs. Travis “Loose Cannon” Cech
A local product from the greater Edmonton area, the 6-foot-3, 210-pound Cornell is only 23 years old. He took on the fireplug-like Calgary native Cech (5-foot-7, 205 pound) who is nine years his senior and had a combined 42 fights entering this match.
Cech blasted out of the gate with a rapid-fire series of punches, scoring a flash knockdown. Cech then attempted a similar attack, but Cornell anticipated it and countered for a flash knockdown of his own. The two combatants then tumbled to the ice together as they grappled for the upper hand.
Cornell got turned around and Cech landed blows to the back and then to the back of the helmet, sending Cornell to the ice yet again. The younger fighter got up but was unsteady on his feet. The match was stopped.
Winner by TKO: Travis Cech
Ice Warriors Legends Hall of Fame Ceremony
Prior to the start of the final bout, Phil Giubileo and A.J. Galante emceed a special ceremony to recognize some of legendary hockey tough guys as the inaugural Hall of Fame class of Ice Warriors Legends: Frank “the Animal” Bialowas, Gino Odjick, Brad Wingfield, Jon “Nasty” Mirasty, and Sean McMorrow. The latter three received their honors in person.
King of the Rink: Final Round
Daniel “Diamond Hands” Amesbury vs. Justin “Bonesaw” Sawyer
With the $15,000 prize at stake, Amesbury and Sawyer wasted no time going right at each other. They traded blows that knocked each other’s helmets off. Amesbury then switched from throwing with his right hand to his left. In a clinch, they were separated by the referees. As they were pulled apart, Sawyer threw an extra, glancing punch.
The clock stopped with 28 seconds left in the opening round for both fighters to replace their helmets and for Amesbury’s corner to create a makeshift fix for a broken chin strap and adjust the contestant’s shoulder pads.
The break in the action provided enough of a breather for both men to finish the round with a nonstop flourish. Amesbury scored with lefts while the bigger and physically stronger “Bonesaw” was eventually able to tie up his opponent’s left arm and land a couple bombs before the first round ended.
In the second round, Amesbury landed no less than a half-dozen shots on Sawyer within the opening 20 seconds. Sawyer was just hanging on at this point, and absorbed and additional three punches that stung him even further. “Bonesaw” didn’t go down, however, and managed to shove “Diamond Hands” into a clinch on the boards with 26 ticks remaining,
Sawyer, however, had simply absorbed too much punishment at the point and he was unable to continue. A jubilant Amesbury was crowned the first King of the Rink and awarded the $15,000 championship prize.
Winner by TKO: Daniel Amesbury