Cormier ejected from QMJHL game after head shot on opponent Staff

1/18/2010 4:08:18 PM

Team Canada's world junior captain Patrice Cormier was ejected from a QMJHL game in overtime on Sunday when he delivered a head shot to Quebec Remparts defenceman Mikael Tam.

Cormier, a forward for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, came off the bench for a line change and cut through the faceoff circle at centre ice, laying an elbow on Tam in open ice.

Video of the hit can be found here.

Following the hit, Tam was convulsing on the ice before being taken off on a stretcher. The 18-year-old defenceman suffered trauma to the skull and brain and lost many teeth.

He is now in stable condition in hospital and is expected to be released Tuesday morning. A Remparts spokespesron said a brain scan was taken after the game, and a second scan Monday showed "everything normal."

The Remparts' official team website says fans can send "get well" messages to Tam.

On Monday, TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie took to his Twitter account, writing, "This Cormier elbow is sickening on so many levels. I have never been so discouraged about the game of hockey as now."

Cormier, a native of Cap-Pele, New Brunswick, was traded to the Huskies on January 7th. The 19-year-old was playing in just his third game with the team.

The Quebec Provincial Police are now handling the incident and have collected several testimonies.

The QMJHL released a statement on Monday saying that the incident is under review.

Commissioner Gilles Courteau says he won't be commenting on the situation today, but the statement said that once the disciplinary process has been completed, the Disciplinary Prefect, Raymond Bolduc, will announce the sanctions.

In 31 games this season with the Rimouski Oceanic and the Huskies, Cormier has 11 goals and 20 assists, as well as 64 PIM.

He had two goals and three assists at the World Junior Hockey Championship, where he captained Team Canada to a silver medal.

In a pre-tournament exhibition game, Cormier elbowed Sweden's Anton Rodin and bloodied his nose. 

Canada went on to lose to the United States in the final.