Cabana finally returns

GLENN MacDONALD -- Halifax Herald

, Last Updated: 11:06 AM ET

For the first time since Sept. 25, Frederik Cabana will suit up for a Halifax Mooseheads' home game.

Cabana makes his return to the Halifax Metro Centre ice Friday night as the Mooseheads host the Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

After serving an eight-game suspension for a knee-on-knee hit on Rimouski Oceanic star Sidney Crosby last month, the feisty 18-year-old forward returned to the Halifax lineup last Saturday in Baie-Comeau. Cabana notched his first goal of the season in the Mooseheads' 6-0 drubbing of the Drakkar.

"We're always missing something when a key player is out of the lineup," Halifax general manager Marcel Patenaude said Wednesday. "Freddy's been with us for the last three years so he's an important player on this hockey club, on the ice and in the dressing room.

"He adds a lot of depth to our lineup. That's what we like about our club, we have a lot of depth."

Cabana -- one of three Mooseheads named last week to the Quebec league roster for the upcoming Canada-Russia hockey challenge -- will likely centre the third line between wingers Marc-Andre Bernier and Ryan Moore.

In nine games this season, the six-foot, 190-pound Cabana has one goal and four assists.

His return comes at an opportune time with back-to-back home games Friday and Saturday night against Moncton.

The Wildcats (14-4-1) are first in the QMJHL and are six points ahead of the P.E.I. Rocket for the Atlantic Division lead.

But Patenaude isn't looking past Bathurst. The Titan, who dropped their first nine games to start the season, have improved since the firing of head coach Sylvain Couturier on Oct. 5.

With former Canadian junior team coach Mario Durocher behind the bench, Bathurst (4-14-0-2) has been a more respectable squad.

"Moncton is probably the top team in the league but Bathurst, since changing coaches, (is) playing much better," Patenaude said. "They're a young, talented club.

"The division is so tight and everyone is playing very well. Every game is important."


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