In spite of a gruelling five games in five days, the Hunters believe their four London Knights selected for the Canada-Russian Challenge series should make the best of the experience.
Dylan Hunter (son of coach Dale Hunter), Corey Perry, Danny Syvret and David Bolland are on the OHL team that will play two games against a Russian junior squad, tonight in Barrie and Monday in Mississauga .
Between those games, the Knights play three of their own -- tomorrow at the John Labatt Centre against the Plymouth Whalers, Saturday in Barrie against the Colts and Sunday in Sudbury against the Wolves.
The four chosen Knights aim to be on the ice for all five games.
"I think it's an honour to try to play for your country, to be a part of Team Ontario," Knights general manager Mark Hunter said. "These kids are recognized for their talents."
He said the OHL team will likely use four lines and six defencemen. "So it's not a situation where any of them would play 25 or 35 minutes."
At least one other OHL coach is keeping a player out of a Russian game because of hius team's weekend schedule.
The Hunters want their players to experience the international flavour of play.
"This is definitely a different (Russian) team than last year," Dylan Hunter said. "They play Russian hockey -- high speed and passing."
Hunter said he watched Tuesday's game against the QMJHL all-stars, which ended in a 3-3 tie, as did the first game. Russia won shootouts at the conclusion of each game.
Last year, the CHL teams ran roughshod over an inferior Russian side. After the two Ontario games, the Russians travel west to play two against Western league stars, with games Dec. 1 in Red Deer and Dec. 2 in Lethbridge.
Hunter had no idea whom he will be teamed with for tonight's game. The lineup will be determined at a pregame practice.
The travel schedule for the quartet of Knights is by car to Barrie, to London, back to Barrie, to Sudbury and then to Mississauga.
"Eat right and get lots of sleep," Hunter said of his plan for surviving the schedule.
ROAD TO THE RECORD BOOK
CHL undefeated streak
y-29 games: Brandon Wheat Kings (WHL) (24-0-5) 1978-79
27 games: Sorel Blackhawks (QMJHL) (26-0-1) 1973-74
26 games: Kamloops Blazers (WHL) (23-0-3) 1998-99
25 games: Kitchener Rangers (OHL) (25-0-0) 1983-84
24 games: Oshawa Generals (OHL) (22-0-2) 1982-83; Hull Olympiques (QMJHL) (24-0-0) 1995-96
x-23 games: London Knights (OHL) (22-0-1) 2004-05
OHL undefeated streak
25 games: Kitchener Rangers (25-0-0) 1983-84
x: active streak; y: to begin a season