I’ve seen plenty of referees get accidentally checked into the boards, hit in the face with pucks, and even simultaneously bulldozed by multiple players, but never once have I seen a player physically and intentionally go after a ref. By the same token, I’ve never seen a ref retaliate in any way. That must be because I don’t spend nearly enough time in Russia.
This clip from a Russian hockey game shows a player who doesn’t take kindly to the ref’s hooking call and proceeds to knock him flat on his back. The referee gets up peacefully, begins to remove his helmet, and then lays a beat down on the punk who knocked him over….or at least he tries to until a member of the opposing team comes to pull the two apart. Pay close attention to number 14 on the blue team who comes in and throws a few sucker punches and stick jabs at the ref in defense of his teammate. Oh Russia! So unique.