According to a release from the USHL, future Badger Keegan Ford has been suspended by the league for one game for his role in a line-brawl during Saturday night's contest between the Dubuque Fighting Saints, and the Chicago Steel at the Mystique Ice Center in Dubuque.
Ford--who is a rookie defenseman for the Fighting Saints--initiated the line brawl when he dropped his gloves off of a neutral zone faceoff to fight Steel forward, and Michigan State recruit Mackenzie MacEachern. Moments later, the rest of the Dubuque players on the ice drop their gloves and it turns into a classic USHL line-brawl.
The five-foot-eight, sixteen-year-old Ford initiated the fight with the six-foot-three, eighteen-year-old MacEachern because of a dangerous, dirty play earlier in the game. Ford was retreating in his defensive zone for a loose puck when from behind, MacEachern slashes Ford so hard in the wrist it causes Ford to go crashing into the end boards head first.
Ford was suspended one game by the USHL for breaking USHL rule 613c – fighting, instigating. Dubuque teammates Jarrid Privitera, Evan Janssen, Shane Sooth, and Michael Downing were all suspended two games according to rule 613d - fighting, secondary.
Chicago's MacEachern was not suspended by the league, but Charlie O'Connor, Joel Benson, Thomas Ebbing, and Sam Piazza were all suspended two games for rule 613d - fighting, secondary.
A native of Waunakee, Wisc., Ford committed to the Badgers back in early September. Ford's father Pat played, and coached for the Badgers as well. Ford cited the coaching staff and the outstanding facilities at Wisconsin for weighing heavily on his decision.
"In the end I chose Wisconsin because It's where I've wanted to go since my dad was coaching," Ford said at the time of his commitment. "And I think I can develop my hockey skills with a great coaching staff, and outstanding facilities."
Just a junior in high school, Ford left Waunakee for an opportunity in the USHL this season. The sixteen-year-old blue-liner is off to a fast start with the Fighting Saints, playing solid two way hockey and chipping in three goals and eight assists in 22 games for league leading Dubuque. Ford is also +12 on the season.
Ford will miss Friday's game in Green Bay due to the suspension, but will be back with the Fighting Saints after the Christmas break when Dubuque hosts Muskegon.
VIDEO: Dirty slash on Keegan Ford
VIDEO: Dubuque line-brawl with Chicago started by future Badger Keegan Ford
(fight starts at 1:47 of the video)