67's Cuma faces end of season

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:14 AM ET

Ottawa 67's star defenceman Tyler Cuma will undergo knee surgery in Minnesota today and could be lost for the rest of the season.

Cuma, who injured his knee at the world junior selection camp in December, attempted a comeback a week ago against the Brampton Battalion a week ago, but re-injured his knee. He went to Minnesota to be examined by doctors for the Minnesota Wild, which drafted Cuma in the first round last summer.

Doctors determined Cuma needs arthoscopic surgery to repair the meniscus. He's expected to remain in Minnesota for rehab for up to a month and the Wild is recommending he shut it down for the rest of the season.

67's coach and GM Brian Kilrea, whose club hosts the Peterborough Petes at the Civic Centre tonight (7:30 p.m.), hopes Cuma hasn't played his last game for the 67's this season.

"It could depend on how long we play," said Kilrea. "We'll just have to have a good playoff run."

There was one positive. Kilrea and fellow coaches Chris Byrne and Bert O'Brien had been talking about how the defencemen would be paired up on Cuma's return.

"We don't have to worry about who his partner is going to be, so we got something solved," said Kilrea.

The 67's (30-18-3-2) are in third place in the Eastern Conference. Goalie Chris Perugini will start tonight as he chases his 20th win of the season (19-8-1-2). He relieved Adam Courchaine, who was pulled with four minutes to go in Sunday's 8-6 loss to the Kingston Frontenacs.


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