During the first period of the KHL playoff game between Avtomobilist Ekaterinburg and Salavat Yulaev Ufa, a drunk fan broke in the guests’ bench and swung a stick on Vitaly Kolesnik’s head. The goalie left the arena bleeding and has been sent to Ekaterinburg’s hospital, where a concussion has been diagnosed.
Igor Zakharkin declared to Sport-Express that “this was the most terrible match in my life. At first we didn’t understand, then we seen that a fan climbed over the glasses and with a stick hit Vitaly [Kolesnik]’s head. Only a miracle saved him. I don’t want to think if that person would hit him in the temple. This was a shock for everyone in the arena.”
Salavat Yulaev asked the league to suspend Ekaterinburg Arena for one match and consequently to play in front of no crowd as a measure of punishment. The league instead gave Avtomobilist a 1 million rubles fine and said that their participation to the KHL might be in jeopardy should these incidents happen again.
Vitaly Kolesnik gave a little interview to Sport-Express. He said that “some fans from the very beginning behaved very aggressively. I and other guys tried to quiet them, but we couldn’t. Then suddenly I seen that a person got close to the ice and had a stick. I avoided the first hit, but then my head was hit several times. And I don’t remember what happened right after.”