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YOUTH HURT CRITICALLY IN BRAWL AFTER HOCKEY GAME

A North Buffalo youth was listed in critical condition today with a head injury suffered in a brawl that followed a high school hockey game.

He was the most seriously injured of eight young people who were taken to hospitals as the result of the brawl involving 15 to 20 young people at about 7 p.m. Saturday outside the North Buffalo Arena, 156 Tacoma Ave.

Police were continuing Sunday to try to sort out what happened.

"We talked to 50 people and got 50 different versions of what happened, Lt. Duane Rizzo of the Northwest District said. "No one could identify anyone. Our detectives will continue to follow up on Monday."

Corey McCarthy, 16, of Crescent Avenue was listed in critical condition in the intensive care unit in Erie County Medical Center after surgery for a severe head injury. He was not a player on either team.

Seven others were less seriously injured.

The fight followed a game between club teams from Riverside and McKinley high schools, as some of the Riverside players fought with fans of McKinley, Rizzo said. Apparently no McKinley players were involved.

The players were armed with hockey sticks, but baseball bats and pipes were also used as weapons, Rizzo said.

"It was a confrontation outside after the game," Rizzo said.

But it apparently originated inside when some of the followers of the McKinley team and members of the Riverside club exchanged remarks during the game.

"Some people were removed from the game, and when the (Riverside) hockey team went to leave, the incident ensued. he said.

"We go there within three minutes (of someone calling 911), and there were people running all over the place, Rizzo said.

Victims were taken to three hospitals, but McCarthy apparently was the only one who remained hospitalized.

Greg Day, president of the league, said, "We are all saddened and concerned about what happened, but we want to let the police do their job and will cooperate fully.

He said he was not at the game and declined to comment further.

Detectives from the Northwest District were continuing to investigate the brawl, but it was not clear today whether any arrests will be made.

"This will be pursued vigorously by the D District detectives," said Larry J. Baehre, the Buffalo police public information officer.

Riverside defeated McKinley, 4-0, in a game played in the Buffalo Explorer Hockey League. In the league, established about 25 years ago, each team operates as a club, rather than as a sanctioned varsity team.

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