Coach, referee testify that players 'acted together' in high school hockey brawl

Jim Melwert
November 14, 2018 - 5:55 pm
From left: Ryan Gricco, Jake Cross and Brock Anderson

Montgomery County District Attorney's Office

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The prosecution has wrapped up its case against three men accused of simple assault and conspiracy for their roles in an on-ice high school hockey brawl. 

Jurors heard from the players on the ice, a referee, and the coach of Central Bucks West’s hockey team.

CB West was leading the Ridley Raiders 7-1 in the quarter-finals of the Flyers Cup in 2017, when, according to prosecutors, Ridley players on the ice jumped the CB West skaters.

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CB West coach David Baun said the game started out physical but within the rules, but he as it went on, he said that started to change.

"At the moment the puck dropped and their guys just started fighting my players, it was shocking," he recalled. "It appeared to be, in my opinion, orchestrated. It appeared they acted together."

The referee, Blaine Forkell, echoed a similar notion in his testimony, adding when the puck was dropped, Ridley players weren’t trying to play hockey.

Forkell also said one of the Ridley players skated to each of his teammates on the ice and whispered in their ears before the fight broke out.

CB West players testified they didn't want to fight back out of fear of getting suspended for the next tournament game.

However, defense attorneys for the three players — Jake Cross, Ryan Gricco and Brock Anderson — have argued that CB West players weren’t innocent. It was a chippy, emotional game, and the fighting was just part of it, the defense argued.

"This is not part of hockey anywhere today," Baun added, "and it's surely not part of high school. It was an aberration, a very unfortunate thing."