Tonight's the Knight

London Knights rookie Steve Ferry wears flip flops and summer wear as he horses around with Robbie...

London Knights rookie Steve Ferry wears flip flops and summer wear as he horses around with Robbie Drummond at the end of an optional practice yesterday. (London Free Press/Derek Ruttan)

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 1:29 PM ET

The London Knights aren't satisfied yet -- they're thirsty to make it to 30 straight games without a loss.

On Wednesday night in Kitchener, the Knights knocked off the Rangers 5-3 to match the 1978-79 Brandon Wheat Kings' Canadian Hockey League record unbeaten streak of 29 games.

To pass the Wheaties, the Knights (28-0-1) have to defeat the only team that's been able to beat them over the past 10 1/2 months -- the Guelph Storm -- tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Teddy Bear Toss Night at the John Labatt Centre.

"We have a share of the record but we want to keep it going and have it to ourselves," said Knights coach Dale Hunter.

"The boys know what's at stake, they'll be up and they'll be able to refocus. I don't expect a letdown. You have to play this game with emotion but not too much emotion. You can't get too excited."

London still views games against Guelph as an opportunity for redemption. The Knights lost four games to the eventual OHL champs in last season's Western Conference final and fell twice late in the regular season to the Storm.

Guelph remains the only team to beat London since the Knights lost on Jan. 24 to Plymouth. Earlier this year, London squeaked past Guelph 3-2 in overtime.

"It's exciting that it's Game 30 and it's Guelph, (sports) has a funny way of working out that way," said Knights forward Dylan Hunter.

"They're the only team that's beaten us in a long time and they've done it six times and knocked us out of the playoffs last year. Now, this is the team we have to go through to get the record."

Many of the players enjoyed a day off from practice yesterday, resting up for tonight.

Injured forward Robbie Drummond, a Londoner, tested his sprained ankle yesterday but is a long shot to play.

Guelph head coach Dave Barr, who played for the 1978-79 Edmonton Oil Kings, who stopped Brandon's streak at 29, said the Storm are basically injury-free but have a few coming back from sick bay.

"We had a couple of guys who are just getting over being sick but we're ready to go. We're looking forward to this game.

"No one wants the record to happen against them."

The Knights are bracing themselves for the now-familiar glare of TV cameras and the scrutiny of the national media.

The biggest problem will be squeezing everybody into the JLC -- Knights captain Danny Syvret has 12 family and friends coming tonight.

"We usually get two tickets per player, so it looks like I'll have to rent a bunch," he said with a grin.

"It was fun to tie the record on the road but it's great to be back home for this one."

"It's where you want to be in a situation like this," Dale Hunter said, adding they want their fans to see this game.

Syvret, who has researched the exploits of that 1978-79 Brandon team, agreed it feels a little like chasing ghosts because the Wheat Kings' streak occurred 26 years ago , well before any of the current Knights were born.

"That Brandon team scored a ton of goals, they racked up a lot of points," Syvret said.

"In the Memorial Cup, they lost their first two games, then won two more to get to the final, which they lost to Peterborough."

One thing both that old Brandon team and the current London team share -- they're always the favourite.

"It's always a big game for the other team -- they all want to be the team to knock us off and they have nothing to lose," said Dylan Hunter.

KNIGHTWATCH

LONDON KNIGHTS vs. GUELPH STORM

When: Tonight, 7:30 p.m. at a sold-out John Labatt Centre (televised on Rogers Sportsnet).

The matchup: Since a Jan. 24 loss to Plymouth, the Knights have been defeated by just one OHL team: Guelph (twice in the regular season and four times in last spring's Western Conference final).

Reminder: It's Teddy Bear Toss Night in support of the Salvation Army's annual drive. Bring along a stuffed animal and throw it on the ice after the Knights' first goal.


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