Duxbury family seeks criminal charge against Scituate High hockey player for body check
In hockey parlance, it was a bone-crushing check. The parents of the player who was hit say it should also be considered assault and battery.
The incident in question happened Jan. 7 at The Bog ice arena in Kingston, during a hockey game between Duxbury High School and Scituate High School.
A video posted on the Internet shows Duxbury’s Tucker Hannon receiving a pass in the offensive zone. A Scituate player in dark blue, Alex Way, was backchecking to help defend the play. As Hannon took a wrist shot, Way swooped in and hit him hard in front of the crease.
Hannon’s head flew back and his skates went out from under him, his body parallel with the ice. He landed hard on his side and rolled over onto his stomach, his hockey gloves covering his head and face in pain. He was later diagnosed with a concussion.
Hannon’s parents are now seeking to press criminal charges against Way for that body check, and their application for a criminal complaint will be reviewed in Plymouth District Court on Friday, according to Robert Harnais, a Quincy lawyer who represents Way.
Harnais said he did not want to minimize the serious injury Hannon sustained, but said, “at no time did [Alex Way] ever want to hurt anybody.”
“This was blown way out of proportion,” said Harnais. “When you play hockey, it is a contact sport.”
Mike Breen, the coach of the Scituate boys’ hockey team, did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment, but was quoted in the Patriot Ledger as describing Way’s check as a “good, clean hit."
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association was not aware of the incident until recently, and has no plans to take any action or get involved.
“Apparently there was no penalty called on this particular play,” said Paul Wetzel, an MIAA spokesman, who added, “It could be that the [referees] didn’t see the incident.”
Wetzel said he couldn’t recall any case of parents bringing charges against a student athlete on an opposing team in the MIAA.
“It’s very unusual, no question about it,” said Wetzel. “We’ll see what happens when they go to court.”
Jay Mullen, the attorney representing the Hannons, could not be reached for comment. The Ways and the Hannons did not return phone calls seeking comment.Emily Sweeney can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @emilysweeney.