The Chicago Blackhawks and Minnesota North Stars squared off in a bloody and wild brawl Thursday night 25 minutes before the start of their scheduled game with no referees to break it up.

As the teams skated in their respective zones as part of the pre-game warmup, Chicago's Wayne Van Dorp and Minnesota's Shane Churla fought on Chicago's side of center ice.With the referees apparently still in their dressing room, the two battled until Van Dorp, his jersey ripped off and face and arm bloodied, skated off into Chicago's locker room.

The fighting, however, continued as skirmishes broke out all over the North Stars' end of the ice. The fans already on hand cheered as "Wild Thing" blared over the stadium's speaker system.

Blackhawks center Denis Savard grabbed his stick at one point and moved toward the pack but was greeted by North Stars goalie Jon Casey, who held his stick outstretched. The two were separated without any stick swinging.