"We had a TV timeout," recalled defenseman Joe Lavin. "Teddy (Coach Ted Dent) was going over a play and the next thing we knew we turned around and their bench was clearing, and obviously we're going to respond."
Part of being on a team is sticking up for one's teammates. Even if that means risking suspensions.
"I'm sure you saw the video. You could tell the boys were flying in there and supporting each other," said IceHogs Goalie Carter Hutton. "It's something you don't want to see that stuff happen in hockey. But that's the way it happens."
"There was really nothing we could do," said Dent. "Milwaukee's bench cleared first and then our bench just followed."
Rob Flick, who's fight with Admirals' goalie Jeremy Smith triggered the brawl, and Shawn Lalonde who left the penalty box to jump into the brawl, are the only IceHogs who have suspended by the AHL. Neither player was made available to the media Tuesday to comment.
"Any time there is a bench-clearing brawl there's going to be suspensions, so we just have to live with it," said Dent.
In many instances a melee like the one Sunday and the resulting suspensions can actually bring a team closer together.
"Guys are sticking up for each other...sticking up for themselves, and I think that just makes the team tighter," said Dent.
"It shows how we all look out for each other," said IceHogs Center Peter LeBlanc. "I think it's good how close our team is."
Now that the league has doled out its punishment, the IceHogs will do what they've done for the past couple months. They'll rely on their depth to plug into the lineup some more guys, and they'll press forward.
"It's an unfortunate incident the way things transpired," said IceHogs forward Kyle Beach. "But it's something we have to take in stride. We've been hot whoever has been playing. We're still preparing to play a hockey game whether we've got everybody in the lineup or a couple other guys in there."
The IceHogs next game will be Friday night in Cleveland against the Lake Erie Monsters.