China’s new hockey squad called the Beijing Kunlun Red Stars was hoping to test its mettle against international teams when it hosted an exhibition match against Kazakhstan’s Barys Astana on Monday.
The match was a preseason game for the Kontinental Hockey League where the Red Stars were recently admitted. Joining the prominent league is seen as part of the country’s preparation for the upcoming Beijing Winter Olympics in 2022.
Currently ranked 37th in the world, the recently formed Chinese team composed mostly of non-Chinese players was also looking to invigorate the Chinese hockey scene, reported Shanghaiist
The game, however, lasted only three minutes after it was halted due to a brawling incident involving one Kazakh player who ran after the entire Kunlun Red Stars team.
A daily dose of Asian America's essential stories, in under 5 minutes.
Get our collection of Asian America's most essential stories to your inbox daily for free.
Unsure? Check out our Newsletter Archive.
The chaos started when Barys Astana’s Damir Raspiyev landed some punches on Red Star forward Tomas Marcinko. He then went on to repeatedly punch two other Red Star players. Ryspayev then approached the team’s bench where he tried to fight a third player when, finally, officials intervened. Marcinko was put on a stretcher and was later diagnosed with a concussion.
Raspiyev, who has built a violent reputation in the KHL, has reportedly not scored a single point, but was able to accumulate 194 penalty minutes in all of the games he’s played in the league.
Due to his most recent incident, the KHL has announced that Ryspayev would be suspended for the rest of the preseason. Vladimir Krechin, Kunlun Red Stars general manager said he will be pressing criminal charges against the rampaging player.