Knights get lucky bounce

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:00 AM ET

WINDSOR -- It's not how Trevor Kell envisioned his first power-play goal in the OHL but he'll take it -- especially when it was the winning goal.

A shot by Corey Perry from the top of the left faceoff circle glanced off Kell's skate and into the Windsor net at 8:09 of the third period, giving the Knights a 2-1 win over the Spitfires last night.

The Knights are now 3-0.

Kell spent an extra 15 minutes after Wednesday's practice with assistant coach Jacques Beaulieu.

Beaulieu fed Kell about 100 pucks from the corner as he stood in front of the net, where the Knights want him to position himself on the power play.

"This wasn't how I pictured it, not really after what we'd practised, but I'll take what they give me. It's good to get my first one out of the way," Kell said with a big smile

He scored nine goals as a rookie last season and killed penalties but was never on the power play.

Beaulieu said despite the fact Kell is only five-foot-11 and 175 pounds, they like his toughness, which is suited for parking in front of the net.

"We need a guy on the right-hand side who's got a good stick and he's a strong kid in front," Beaulieu said.

"We did work hard at it (Wednesday). You've got to be there to make that play. He's working hard at it and he'll get better at it. He also supports the puck well to get it in the first place."

Beaulieu said Kell will see more time on the power play. "He's earned everything he gets right now."

Kell said he knew Rob Schremp had fed the puck to Perry but it wasn't until the last second that he saw the shot coming. Kell said as it went between his legs, it struck his skate.

"Right spot at the right time, I guess," said the Knights' fourth-round pick in the 2002 draft who scored only 13 goals in Tier 2 junior A in 2002-03.

"That was a pretty ugly game out there tonight and the same can be said about that goal. But these are goals that are going to win it for you in a game like that."

Ex-Knight Tommy Mannino had tied it for the Spits 55 seconds into the third period with a shot over goalie Gerald Coleman's left shoulder from a sharp angle.

Mannino's goal matched his entire output for Windsor last season after his trade Jan. 9. He scored in his first game with his new club, then dried up.

Mannino, London's first-round pick in 2003, has slimmed down to 192 pounds after reporting to the Spitfires' June summer camp at 217.

Coach-GM Mike Kelly told him then to lose weight or not bother reporting to the main training camp.

At one point last season, Mannino ballooned to 224 pounds.

After no scoring in the first period, Robbie Drummond put London on the board at 3:49 of the second, converting a perfect pass from Josh Beaulieu in the corner.

Perry was stoned by Spits goalie Brad Topping on a short-handed breakaway midway through the second.

Topping, from Strathroy, in his over-age season, was traded by Kitchener during the summer.

With Coleman playing last night, goalie coach Dave Rook said Ryan MacDonald will get the start tonight against Plymouth at the John Labatt Centre, with Coleman back in net tomorrow night in Saginaw, Mich.

The puck had barely hit the ice last night when Knights winger Beaulieu and Steve Downie of the Spits dropped the gloves.

Both were back in the lineup following suspensions.

Beaulieu sat out the first two games after leaving the bench with play in progress to initiate a fight in a preseason game.

Downie, Windsor's first-round pick in 2003, was suspended three games for a hit on the Knights' Logan Hunter during the fourth and final game of last season's Western Conference quarter-final.

KNIGHTS 2, SPITS 1

London goals: Robbie Drummond, Trevor Kell

Windsor goal: Tommy Mannino

Next: The Knights play the Plymouth Whalers tonight at the John Labatt Centre at 7:30 p.m.


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