Another bad break for 67's

DON BRENNAN, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 7:59 AM ET

The 67's were hit hard twice in the same spot last Friday night.

The area directly along the blue line from where Martin Paryzek sets up.

Just a couple of hours after defenceman Tyler Cuma suffered a knee injury in a Team Canada intra-squad game at the Robert Guertin Centre in Gatineau, his fill-in as Paryzek's partner on Brian Kilrea's team also went down to injury at the Civic Centre.

Sixteen-year-old rookie Ryan Hanes was having a strong game when along came his first OHL fight, against Oshawa's Tyler Taylor.

Hanes caught Taylor with a punch that would later need stitches to close, but when the pair fell they landed on Hanes' right leg. The Kanata product wound up with a broken ankle that will keep him out of action for at least six weeks.

Meanwhile, Cuma has now been diagnosed with a torn MCL that won't require surgery but will keep him out for about six weeks also.

With Paryzek joining the Czechs for the world junior championship, the 67's are down to five defencemen.

"It means (veteran) Julien Demers will get a lot of ice time," said Kilrea, whose squad takes on the Peterborough Petes tonight (7:30 p.m.) at the Civic Centre. "Him and (blue-line partner) Travis Gibbons."

While Cuma was walking without any obvious discomfort yesterday, Hanes was at the rink in a cast and on crutches.

"It was a good fight," said Hanes, whose skate caught in a rut before about 370 lbs. of hockey players fell on his ankle. "It was a freak accident. I knew Cuma was going to make (Team Canada) and I'd be getting more ice time here, so it's disappointing."

The 67's luck was much better at the other end of the ice last weekend. After thumping the Generals 10-0, they went north to beat Sudbury 8-3 and the Soo 3-2. The three victories leave them third in the Eastern Conference and second in the East Division, 12 points behind Belleville but with three games in hand.

The return from a shoulder injury of wily centre Thomas Kiriakou certainly helped, but Logan Couture was the straw that stirred the drink. He had only two goals and two assists, but Kilrea commended his captain for his strong effort at both ends of the ice.

"He played great every night," Kilrea said of Couture.


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