by Joe Tasca on 04/25/13 at 05:00 PM ET
All credit to Paul for posting video of last night's bench-clearing brawl between QMJHL rivals Baie Comeau and Blainville-Boisbriand. I happened to be at the game, and as you can imagine, it was a wild scene. The melee featured all four goaltenders duking it out, and resulted in suspensions to 12 players and both coaches. Game 5 of this tightly-contested series will be a hot ticket, indeed.
I'll offer a few thoughts on what happened. Firstly, the playoff atmosphere in Boisbriand is incredible. I've had the pleasure of watching playoff junior hockey all across Quebec, and as you can tell from the television feed, the in-game experience is second-to-none. The French Canadian fans are loud and raucous from start to finish, and it makes for a terrific environment for any hockey fan.
Secondly, it should be noted that Boisbriand forward Cedric Paquette incited the riot by openly taunting the Baie Comeau players as time expired. It was a childish display, and not the prudent course of action in the dying moments of a crucial playoff game. QMJHL director of player safety Raymond Bolduc apparently felt the same way, fining Paquette $1,000 for what he deemed "inappropriate behavior."
Patrick King offers up some post-game reaction from the coaches:
There are many opinions on who’s to blame for the incident, with many pointing to Paquette for his manner in celebrating the victory. Drakkar head coach Eric Veilleux said Paquette was taunting his players.
"I found that unnecessary, what happened," Veilleux said in his post-game press conference. "I don’t think they had to do that."
Armada head coach Jean-Francois Houle saw nothing wrong with the way his player celebrated.
"He was coming towards our bench and they jumped on the ice and cornered him," he said. "I thought regulations said they had to stay on their bench.
"I think that Paquette was really happy to win. We won tonight, really happy about that and really happy Cedric celebrated. I think that’s normal when a team wins."
What's truly amazing about the aftermath of this donnybrook is that both teams will have to use third-strong goaltenders for Game 5. Keep in mind, this is a third round playoff series that's tied at two games apiece, so there's a lot at stake. With key players out of the lineup on both sides, fire-wagon hockey may be on full display tomorrow night in Baie Comeau.
Should be a beauty.
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About Tasca's Take
Tasca's Take is written by Joe Tasca. Born and raised in Westerly, Rhode Island, Joe works as a broadcaster for seven radio stations in southern New England. Whether that's a testament to his on-air ability or because he has a desparate need for money is debatable.
Joe spends his summers playing golf, enjoying the beauty of Misquamicut Beach, and wining and dining girls who are easily awed by the mere presence of a radio personality. During the winter months, he can usually be found taking in a hockey game somewhere in North America. In the spring, he spends much of his time in botanical gardens tiptoeing through the tulips, while autumn is a time to frolic with his golden retrievers through piles of his neighbors’ leaves.