"There's no place for anger anymore," said Tom Grilk, who coached one of the dead man's sons.
Michael Costin, 40, died Friday, two days after being injured in the brawl, which took place at a rink in front of several youngsters.
Costin's three sons and daughter, ages 9 to 12, wept during the hour-long funeral that drew more than 200 people.
Mourners weep following the funeral of Michael Costin, who died during a brawl between hockey spectators. (AP Photo/Patricia McDonnell)
At Costin's wake Monday, one of the sons was so overcome with grief that he climbed into the casket with his father, a friend said.
Thomas Junta, a 42-year-old truck driver, has pleaded not-guilty to manslaughter and is free on $5,000 bail.
He could get up to 20 years in prison.
Junta's lawyer has said that his client was acting in self-defence and that the victim started the fight, which apparently stemmed from a dispute over rough play on the ice.
"We really have to take a look at sports and the parents have to take a good look at themselves," said mourner Brian Mahoney, 49, whose children played with Costin's.
"For God's sakes, what a parent will do in anger!" said Joan Donovan, a teacher who had taught one of Costin's children.
Costin, an unemployed handyman, had a record of convictions on charges including weapons possession and assaulting a police officer.
And as a teenager, his 17-year-old brother was fatally stabbed in the heart by their father, Augustine Costin, who was convicted of manslaughter.
Speaking Tuesday on NBC's "Today," the elder Costin blamed his son's legal difficulties on personal and family problems.
"He wasn't a criminal, he wasn't a bad kid. He had a drinking problem, and there was a problem with the family," Costin said. "And all the reason why he was in jail was because he was trying to get his children back because the courts gave the wife custody."
Junta has a son, 10, and a daughter, 16.
Prosecutors said Junta was charged in 1992 with assault and battery; there was no finding in the case.