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Fans and catwalks equal a bad mix

January 23, 2010 |  9:46 pm

You cover hockey long enough and you think you've seen everything.

But Saturday at Joe Louis Arena represented a first for me: it was the only time I've ever seen a game briefly held up and a section of the stands emptied because a fan had entered a restricted area and was on a catwalk above the ice.

Fearing for the safety of fans below, patrons in a section to the right of the Red Wings' bench were cleared from their seats before the start of the third period. The Red Wings issued a statement saying three people had crashed the restricted area and one had gone onto the forbidden catwalk.

"Security and the Detroit Police Department were able to remove the individual from the catwalk," the statement said.

Kings Coach Terry Murray said the referee had told him what was happening but that the game would be allowed to continue. Center Anze Kopitar said he saw the empty section and was wondering what was going on until he was told about the fan. "It was definitely a first time for me, seeing that," he said.

Helene Elliott, from Detroit