By Allan Muir
It's been a long time since fight fans have been treated to a good, old-fashioned bench-clearing brawl, but we got one on Wednesday night after the buzzer sounded to end Game 4 of the heavily hyphenated Baie-Comeau Drakkar-Blainville-Boisbriand Armada QMJHL semifinal playoff series.
This one started not with a bang, but with a gesture. Though it's hard to tell from the video, Cédric Paquette of the victorious Armada taunted the Drakkar's Raphaël Bussières with a dismissive wave as he headed off the ice. No surprise that it was not well received. As the two started jostling, the Armada players who had been skating toward winning goaltender Étienne Marcoux changed direction and headed to the scuffle. The Drakkar then hopped the boards in search of dance partners. The Armada obliged, and the next thing you know, we have a full-on brawl, highlighted by all four goalies squaring off.
It'll be interesting to see how the league handles the suspensions that are slated to be announced early this afternoon. There were 22 penalties handed out at the 20:00-minute mark, with seven players being carded for multiple infractions. Odds are we won't see a few of them for the rest of this series, which currently is knotted up at two games apiece, and some may be lost for part -- or all -- of the QMJHL final.
We'll update when we hear the verdict.
Here's another look, apparently shot from the press box: