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Suspensions upheld for QMJHL stars Cormier, Scandella after appeals denied @NHLdotcom

BOUCHERVILLE, Que. - Two members of Canada's world junior championship team - Patrice Cormier and Marco Scandella - had appeals denied Friday on their lengthy suspensions by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.

Cormier, a centre for the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies, was suspended for the rest of the regular season and the playoffs on Jan. 25 for an elbow to the jaw that sent Mikael Tam of the Quebec Remparts into convulsions on the ice.

An appeal was turned down by commissioner Gilles Courteau on Feb. 19, but the Huskies then asked for an independent arbitrator. That also failed, as arbitrator Jacques Sylvestre upheld the suspension on Friday.

Sylvestre said in a statement that the suspension was "consistent and logical with the choices made by the league to change its culture and to respect recommendations set forth by the consulting committee in the matter of gratuitous violence."

Tam spent a night in hospital after the hit, but eventually was able to return to the ice and then was suspended himself for two games on March 8 for a hit from behind in a game against the Gatineau Olympiques.

Scandella, a defenceman for the Val d'Or Foreurs, was suspended 15 games for a hit to the head of Rimouski Oceanic forward Alexandre Durette on Feb. 3.

His appeal was heard by Courteau, who upheld the decision of league disciplinarian Raymond Bolduc.

"I believe the player should have changed tactics on the play in order to avoid hitting his opponent in the head, who, at that moment, was vulnerable," Courteau said in a statement. "The gesture was violent and susceptible of causing serious harm to the player."

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