Hockey mentality or criminal assault? Former teen players head to trial

Jim Melwert
November 13, 2018 - 4:45 am
From left: Ryan Gricco, Jake Cross and Brock Anderson

Montgomery County District Attorney's Office


MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — The trial begins Tuesday for three players charged with assault for their roles in a high school hockey brawl in March 2017.

During a Flyers Cup AA quarterfinal tournament in Hatfield, Ridley High School's team was losing 7-1 to Central Bucks High School West with seven minutes left to go.

When the puck dropped, video shows Ridley players starting to throw punches. Three CB West players were hurt — one with a broken nose and eye socket.

Prosecutors say Ridley seniors knew it was their last game and they couldn't be suspended. Investigators were told the scorekeeper heard Ridley skaters listing which CB West players they wanted to go after.

Six Ridley players were charged. One was a juvenile at the time, and his case has been adjudicated. Another pleaded guilty to simple assault and has joined the Marines. A third entered into a pretrial intervention program known as Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition (ARD), which allows the charges to be expunged after a period of court supervision.

The remaining three Ridley players — Jake Cross, Brock Anderson and Ryan Gricco — are going to trial to fight simple assault and conspiracy charges.

Their lawyers have said the referees lost control of a game that saw more than 60 penalties, and they argue this was a mutual hockey fight, not a criminal act.