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WHL CRACKDOWN ON BRAWLING SPURS HAS LITTLE EFFECT

   The brawling Denver Spurs skated into San Diego last night and it was just a matter of time.   The Spurs, who lead the league in fighting majors and penalty minutes, were intent on continuing their brawling ways.   Bob Gassoff, who leads the WHL in penalty minutes, was busy in the corner of the dressing room taping his hands getting ready for battle.   "Everyone on our team tapes their hands", said Gassoff, "When you fight as much as we do, its necessary."   True to form, a medical report must be filed with the league indicating that the taping of hands is necessary due to treatment of an injury.   Otherwise, an extra penalty could be called against the offending player.   A call into the WHL league office indicated that there have been eleven such medical reports filed with the league, all from Denver.   Reports abound that the Denver players tape their hands like boxers simply to gain an advantage.   In addition, there have been numerous complaints of Denver players using foreign materials such as fibre glass and aluminum foil in their tape jobs.   "We fight all the time," exclaimed Ray Schultz, who leads the WHL in fighting majors, "We typically will clear the bench when a fight breaks out so we have to be ready at all times.   That's our style."

   Thirty minutes before the start of the contest and Gassoff and Schultz skate in warm ups without their hockey gloves, a perpetual invitation to fight.   Within minutes, Gassoff has shed his stick and circles the ice twice more more before challenging Connie "Mad Dog" Madigan to fight, preparing for battle in a boxer-like stance.   Several Spurs players including Rene Villemure, Bob Stumpf, Barry Brooks and Ray Schultz begin battling with San Diego Mariner fans who litter the ice with debris and exchange punches with the Spurs players.

   A vicious game ensues which boils over in the third period when yet another huge brawl develops. Gassoff gets his wish and pummels "Mad Dog" Madigan on two different occassions during the lengthy battle.   Cups of beer shower the Spurs players during the remaining part of the game.   Gary Gresdal slugs it out with two fans in the penalty box who decide to get involved.

   Another typical night of hockey for the brawling Denver Spurs. Lost in all the excitement is a 6-2 victory for the San Diego Mariners.

---San Diego Union Tribune 11/16/73