Knights on guard

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:47 AM ET

If Kyle Quincey and the Mississauga IceDogs wish to beat the London Knights tonight, they don't have much choice but to try to contain Corey Perry and Dylan Hunter.

There's an intangible, though, the 'Dogs might not be able to control as the Knights look to tie an Ontario Hockey League record with an 11th consecutive win to start a season.

"The Hunters are passionate hockey people and they know how to pick character," Quincey, a former Knight, said in reference to brothers Dale and Mark Hunter, co-owners of the Knights. "The players they get, they are the Hunters' style. That's the kind of thing that wins hockey games."

The Knights, who will play host to the Memorial Cup next May, have cruised in going 10-0, scoring 52 goals while giving up 21. Perry, a 2003 first-round pick of the Anaheim Mighty Ducks who signed with the Ducks last month, sits atop the OHL scoring race with 27 points. Hunter, a son of Dale, is second in the league with 22 points.

Other weapons include American Rob Schremp, a first-round pick by Edmonton last June, and defencemen Danny Syvret and Bryan Rodney. Perry, though, is the jewel. The Peterborough native was second in scoring last season with 113 points, but learned big numbers don't always carry guarantees.

Perry was a late cut from the Canadian junior team last winter and he does not have a firm spot waiting for him this season. There have been questions about his skating but it's an issue Perry addressed in the off-season when he dedicated more time to getting more power from his legs.

"It doesn't matter where you play, you want to belong," he said. "I feel a lot stronger on the ice now. My speed and skating have to come up to the next level."

Hockey Canada head scout Blair Mackasey was frank when asked about Perry's chances of cracking a Canada roster that will be heavy with returnees.

"He has to prove to (coach) Brent (Sutter) he can play on the top two lines," Mackasey said. "I think it's that simple."

If the Knights win tonight at home against the 6-2-0-1 IceDogs, they can set a record tomorrow night in Owen Sound versus the Attack.

Both the 1992-93 Peterborough Petes and 1995-96 Guelph Storm started the season 11-0.

"Another London Knights name in the record book would be great," Perry, 19, said. "You don't expect something like this when you start a season but we're having fun."


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