OHL takes it to Russians

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:34 AM ET

BARRIE -- Corey Perry has another opportunity to make an impression on the Team Canada brass, but the OHL scoring leader must hope first impressions aren't lasting.

The London Knights right-winger went pointless last night in Team OHL's 3-1 win over the Russia Selects as the Canada-Russia Challenge came to Ontario for two games.

The second game is Monday in Mississauga but that will be Perry's fifth game in as many nights. The Knights, unbeaten in their first 23 games, are at home tonight against Plymouth, then are on the road tomorrow in Barrie and Sunday in Sudbury.

"Points aren't everything," said Perry, under consideration for this year's world junior team.

He has 54 points, including 17 goals, and that's what was expected of him last night as Hockey Canada chief scout Blair Mackasey watched.

"I thought our line created a lot of chances," Perry said. He played with Londoner Jeff Carter of the Soo Greyhounds and Evan McGrath of the Kitchener Rangers. "We weren't pinned in our own end a lot and that's what they've got to look at. You can't look at the points and determine how well you play."

Perry admitted it may be tougher Monday. Making the grade won't be easy as Canada, with no gold medal to show the past seven years, is taking a new approach.

"We didn't win, we haven't won. You've got to change some things," Canada assistant coach Peter DeBoer said last night as he coached Team OHL.

The changes have been instituted by new head coach Brent Sutter. They began at the summer evaluation camp, where the players were divided into two teams that weren't allowed to socialize with one another.

The 28-player roster for the selection camp Dec. 12-16 in Winnipeg will be announced Dec. 6. In the past, 34 to 36 players have been invited.

The six cuts will likely all be made on the final day, at noon. In the past, on each day that cuts were made, the players were awakened by a phone call to their hotel room around 5 a.m.

Michael Richards of the Kitchener Rangers, with Canada in Helsinki, likes the pro-style approach. Last year, the players spent some time at Banff during the summer camp in Calgary.

"It was like a bit of a holiday but this year it was all business," said Richards, who centred a line with the Knights' Dylan Hunter and David Bolland.

That line got Team OHL started, with Bolland scoring the game's first goal at 1:49.

"It's a little bit weird passing to them instead of trying to run 'em," Richards said of his linemates, since the Knights and Rangers enjoy a healthy rivalry.


Videos

Photos