Fatigue can't fell busy Knights

STEVE COAD -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:06 AM ET

Sure, it was busy. Hard on the body, too. But London Knights captain Danny Syvret said any fatigue he and teammates Corey Perry, Dylan Hunter and Dave Bolland might be feeling yesterday after playing five games in as many nights -- last Thursday through Monday -- will be gone by tomorrow when the Knights resume their run at the Canadian Hockey League record of 29 games without a loss, set in 1978-79 by the Brandon Wheat Kings.

"I feel all right," Syvret said yesterday as the players gathered in the afternoon at the John Labatt Centre. "I had a good night's sleep and that goes a long way in making me feel better."

Of their shot at the CHL record, Syvret said: "It's pretty realistic now. At the start of the season, you'd never dream of thinking something like this was possible. Now, we're three games away."

Along with helping the Knights to consecutive Ontario Hockey League victories over the Plymouth Whalers, Barrie Colts and Sudbury Wolves -- the last one vaulting London to its OHL-record 26th straight game without a loss (25-0-1) -- the Knights' stellar foursome also played a critical role in Ontario's two-game sweep of the touring Russian Selects.

The OHL won 3-1 Thursday in Barrie and 5-2 Monday in Mississauga. Bolland scored twice, Hunter collected a goal and and assist, Perry set up a pair and Syvret proved a powerhouse on the point.

Perry said he was "achy and a bit sore," but otherwise, none the worse for wear.

"It's tiring, it takes a toll on the body, but you play through it," said Perry, the OHL's leading scorer with 57 points, including 19 goals. "I'm 19 and you can do those things when you're young."

The Russians, who were 2-2 versus the CHL heading into games against the Western Hockey League last night and tonight, were a good challenge for the OHL, Perry said.

"They were big and hard-hitting and skilled. We matched them in intensity. They tried to take the body on us and we matched them there, too."

Just to be sure they're ready for tomorrow when the Knights tackle the Windsor Spitfires at the John Labatt Centre, Syvret, Perry, Boland and Hunter were given the day off yesterday.

While their teammates hit the ice for practice, the four were restricted to a bit of stationary bike riding.

"That's Dale Hunter," Perry said, referring to the head coach's decision to give his guys a day off.

"He's played in the National Hockey League and the OHL. He knows what it's all about. He's knows how hard it can be, the bus trips and the back-to-back games.

"(He) knows the CHL record is very important," Perry said. "He wants us to get (the record) and he's going to do whatever he can to help us."

Meanwhile, Knights assistant general manager Jim McKellar said the team is still awaiting test results on defenceman Frank Rediker, who reinjured his left knee in a fight Friday against Plymouth.

Rediker, a six-foot-two, 205-pounder, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the knee March 6, had surgery and missed the first eight games of the season.

KNIGHTWATCH

Next game: Looking to extend their OHL-record unbeaten streak, the Knights (25-0-1 this season) play the Windsor Spitfires tomorrow at the John Labatt Centre at 7:30 p.m.

Coming up: The Knights are in Erie to play the Otters on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. If they win those two, they could tie the Canadian Hockey League mark of 29 games without a loss, held by the 1978-79 Brandon Wheat Kings, in Kitchener on Wednesday against the Rangers.


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