Fists, father fly at Aspen Recreation Center
Aspen, CO Colorado
ASPEN, Colorado – An on-ice fight between two players in a men’s hockey tournament Sunday in Aspen led to one player’s brother and father jumping in, the latter leaping from the Lewis Ice Arena balcony.
The fight started during the championship game of the Hockey Mountain High tournament, held on the ice rink inside the Aspen Recreation Center. The tournament was for players 21 and over.
The player who fought the relatives agreed to speak on the condition that his name wasn’t used. The 21-year-old Colorado Springs man said his team, the Springs Fever, was ahead 9-2 when a player on the Colorado Springs Eagles took a cheap shot at the knee of a teammate.
“I dropped my stick, my gloves and we fought,” he said.
Ejected from the game, the two, who he said have played on the same Front Range ice rinks for years, were standing off the ice and talking, the man said.
The brother of the man he fought with hobbled over to him and hit him with a crutch.
“The guy’s an idiot. He just had ACL surgery,” the player said of the brother, who was coaching the Eagles. “I could’ve messed with his knee,” he said, motioning with his hand.
Instead, he said he punched him in the nose and tackled him. That’s when the flying father entered.
“He jumped from the balcony and landed on my back and started punching me in the back of the head,” the player said. “It was three on one.”
A crowd gathered and broke up the melee. The player, still in his hockey gear, changed into street clothes and ran upstairs in the ARC, where he could get cell-phone service, and called the police. The family apparently headed back to Colorado Springs.
After a lengthy discussion with Aspen officers, the man declined to press charges.
“I don’t want to ruin their lives,” he said, adding, however, that he did want them banned from the state’s ice rinks for a year.
“The police report’s going to USA Hockey,” he said of the organization headquartered in Colorado Springs.
The man said he wasn’t injured.
“Actually, I think I won,” he said.