Fight breaks out at championship ice hockey game

This article can be found published on the Daily Local News‘ website and the Delaware County Daily Times‘ website.
While West Chester Rustin celebrated its third consecutive Flyers Cup A Championship with a win over Springfield, several fights broke out in the lobby and parking lot of Ice Line, allegedly involving Springfield students and an Ice Line employee. (Patrick K. Henry)

While West Chester Rustin celebrated its third consecutive Flyers Cup A Championship with a win over Springfield, several fights broke out in the lobby and parking lot of Ice Line, allegedly involving Springfield students and an Ice Line employee. (Patrick K. Henry)

WEST GOSHEN — On a night which should have been jovial and celebratory for the parents, fans, students, players and coaches after West Chester Rustin’s hockey team won the Flyers Cup A Championship, it instead turned sour when multiple fights broke out in the hallway and parking lot of Ice Line in West Goshen.

While the Rustin players and coaches celebrated on the ice and in the locker room on their 4-1 win over Springfield on Friday night to send them to their third consecutive state championship game, the stands were clearing out, which were filled to the max, including student sections for both high schools.

With the anticipated number of spectators coming out to the game, two West Goshen police officers were detailed to the rink for the game, which began at 8:15 p.m.

…[Please continue the story on the Daily Local News website by clicking here.]

During the game, the police removed two juvenile females from Ice Line and arrested them for underage drinking, according to West Goshen police, but that was all that happened while both student sections remained in their places and just playfully taunted each other and the players on the ice.

After the game, however, is when things got out of hand.

While the Rustin players celebrated on the ice with their championship trophy, almost all of their student section stayed behind to photograph the team and cheer them on.

In the lobby by the entrance to Ice Line is where the mayhem ensued as fights broke out and more continued outside in the parking lot.

The fights were dispersed by the West Goshen Police Department with assistance from the West Chester Borough Police Department and the Westtown-East Goshen Police Department, according to the release from West Goshen police.

“As a result of the disturbance, one juvenile male was arrested for underage drinking and disorderly conduct,” the release said. “Another juvenile male sustained nonlife-threatening injuries and was transported to Chester County Hospital by Goshen Ambulance.”

One of the fights allegedly broke out between Springfield students and an Ice Line employee. A short, 10-second video of the incident has made its rounds across social media and shows the employee, identified as Casey by his mother, Jeanine Marks, being tackled to the ground where he was then kicked in the head at least twice.

“My son…tried to calm things down when the losing team went wild,” Marks posted on Facebook along with the video, where she identified Casey. “The Springfield guys ganged up on him. He was kicked in the head (and) has a concussion and a broken nose.”

The video has been shared roughly 2,000 times on Facebook and has been viewed over 150,000 times.

The Springfield School District released a statement following the game and said it was made aware of the incident and the “administration has been and continues to assist all appropriate authorities in bringing a resolution to the matter.”

This isn’t the first time an incident such as this has happened at Ice Line.

During the 2013-14 season, a Unionville High School student was being ejected during a regular season game when the fan began throwing punches at the security guard who was attempting to escort him out of the game.

That fight was also caught on video with a cell phone.

The high school hockey teams in the area are generally club sports, meaning the districts do not fund the schools in any way and the games are also played off-campus.

“This is a club team and not a school-sponsored team, so we have no jurisdiction over (the fight),” said Jim Scanlon, superintendent of the West Chester Area School District. “But we are helping to ID the kids.”

Scanlon said the Ice Line employee who was shown in the video is a 2015 graduate of Rustin High School.

“It’s a shame, but it makes you wonder sometimes what the green coats (Ice Line security) are actually doing,” said Nick Russo, Rustin’s head coach. “You’re leaving a sporting event and you have two crowds, whether they’re hostile or not. And to happen inside the building? That’s really crazy.”

A brawl in the stands during a Flyers Cup Semifinals game between Downingtown and Monsignor Bonner at the Skatium in Haverford led to the arrest of one adult and two juveniles in 1993. It was another instance of a fan being removed by rink employees when it escalated into a fight, according to an article from the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Ice Line’s general manager couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

West Goshen police are continuing to investigate the incident with the cooperation of Ice Line and both school districts.

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Categories: Community, Crime, High School Sports, Ice Hockey, Sports

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