Fresh start for Cowie

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

Scott Cowie is hoping he can be a new man with the Ottawa 67's.

Now if they just find the old Logan Couture, they might be able to do something about their five-game losing streak.

The 67's left yesterday for a two-game swing through Sudbury (tonight) and Sault Ste. Marie (tomorrow night) with Cowie on board their bus.

The grinding centre was acquired from the Peterborough Petes in exchange for winger Pat Daley.

"This is a team I watched as a kid growing up," said the 18-year-old Nepean native. "I get to live at home for a while and I get to play for Brian Kilrea, who's a Hall of Fame coach. There's nobody better to play for.

"It's a fresh start here for me. I've been told I'm going to get an opportunity to play, so it's up to me to play my game."

Kilrea said the 67's were more in need of a centre than a right winger.

"We scouted Cowie before he was drafted and we liked him. He's a hard-working kid,'' Kilrea said. ''Maybe the change will help Daley. Maybe it helps Cowie."

What would help the 67's, who are 7-12 and last in the OHL's East Division, is a return to health of Couture.

Touted as potentially the top pick in next summer's NHL draft at the beginning of the season, Couture is clearly struggling with the lingering effects of the mononucleosis which kept him out for 10 games.

He's still looking for his first goal of the season.

And it could be a long while before the 17-year-old's energy returns to where it should be.

"The poor kid. Logan didn't ask for it. He shouldn't have been in the lineup at the beginning of the year, but we didn't know about it. He might have come back too quick," said Kilrea. "He's only going for 30 seconds (a shift), and when we see his strength and endurance return, it'll be a lot longer than that.

"It's tough to ask a 17-year-old to be your leader, but that's the way it is. You've got to play the hand you're dealt. A healthy Logan Couture would have made a big difference in some of those games (earlier this season)."

GOALIE PICKED UP

The 67's also acquired goaltender Jake Fisher from Barrie yesterday, sending a ninth-round draft pick and the 13th-round pick they had received from Barrie for Joe Plekaitis to the Colts.

Kilrea said he needed another goalie to fill in for Lukas Flueler, who will be away for almost a month in December to play for his native Switzerland at the world junior championship.

The 67's return home Sunday and will be back out on the road Tuesday to play the Frontenacs in Kingston.


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