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The Globe and Mail

QMJHL suspends 12 players after Armada-Drakkar playoff brawl

A glove and a stick on the ice after a brief scuffle during playoff action between the Rangers and the Whalers at the Kitchener Auditorium on April 11 2012.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

The brawling Blainville-Boisbriand Armada and Baie-Comeau Drakkar will be short-handed for their next meeting in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League playoffs.

The league suspended 12 players, fined another, banned both coaches for two games and fined the two teams on Thursday after a donnybrook that saw the benches empty at the end of the Armada's 4-3 victory on home ice over the Drakkar on Wednesday night.

The win evened the best-of-seven series at 2-2.

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Blainville-Boisbriand will be without five players and the Drakkar will be down seven when the teams meet in the fifth game on Friday night in Baie-Comeau.

The suspensions included the two goaltenders from each team, who traded punches with each other. The teams will have to use third-string goalies in Game 5.

Ryan Tesink of the Armada was suspended two games while his teammates Aaron Hoyles, Yassin Cisse and goalies Etienne Marcoux and Guillaume Decelles each got one-game bans.

For Baie-Comeau, Bokondji Imama was suspended two games while Jeremie Gregoire, Gabriel Verpaelst, Jon Banville, Alexandre Ranger and goalies Philippe Cadorette and Francis Desrosiers got one game each.

Blainville-Boisbriand forward Cedric Paquette, who appeared to start the brawl by taunting the Drakkar on the ice as the game ended, was fined $1,000 for "inappropriate behaviour."

Armada coach Jean-Francois Houle and his Baie-Comeau counterpart Eric Veilleux, who spent the brawl shouting at each other on the benches, were each suspended two games.

Each team was also slapped with a $5,000 fine.

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Multiple fighting majors and game misconducts were handed out after the melee, which saw fans litter the ice with plastic bottles and other debris as several fights broke out at once.

The sanctions were announced by league director of player safety Raymond Bolduc.

It's been an eventful series for the Armada, who fought back to tie the series after dropping the opening two games in Baie-Comeau.

Blainville-Boisbriand released New Jersey Devils first-round draft pick Stefan Matteau following Game 2 for leaving the team to ride home on a fan bus after being benched by Houle. The player's father, former NHL forward Stephane Matteau, remains an assistant coach with the club.

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