October 27, 2013
The Quebec Major Junior Hockey League made it through six weeks of play with only one suspension for a check from behind, but now it has its second.
The league has put Victoriaville Tigres overage wing Philippe Hudon on suspension after a dangerous hit from behind on Drummondville's 17-year-old Joey Ratelle during their game on Friday. In the first period, Ratelle was trying to advance the puck out of the Voltigeurs' zone at the half-wall when Hudon crunched him into the boards.
Ratelle, fortunately for both he and Drummondville, ended up scoring a goal later in the game to help his team win 5-3. Hudon was tossed from the game and one can only furrow their brow at trying to divine his thought process on the play. At 0:10 in the clip, Ratelle has about a stick-length lead in the puck race and his feet are squarely pointed at the boards. An unpause and pause later, he is leaning forward to backhand the puck up the wall. And Hudon still drills him.
(Update, Oct. 28: Hudon has been suspended four games.)
The only check-from-behind suspension so far this season in the Q was a two-game ban to Baie-Comeau's Robbie Graham. The league has handed down a pair of four-gamers for checks to the head.
Not a very wise play by Hudon, who is listed as 35 pounds heavier than Ratelle, if you want to be sensational about it.
The league office might be busier than usual early this week. Chicoutimi's Jérémy Carignan also got a checking-to-the-head major and game misconduct on Saturday after felling Saint John's Mackenzie Brown, who did not finish the game.
Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports. Follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet. Please address any questions, comments or concerns to email@example.com.