As the OHL trade deadline nears, there are still some interesting players available for teams that want to make a run at this year's Memorial Cup or, in the London Knights' case, have already qualified for it. Goalie Ryan Munce -- who visited the John Labatt Centre yesterday and was in net for Sarnia's 5-2 loss to the Knights -- is one.
He is 19, he could help a contending team and the inexperienced Sting are struggling to stay afloat in a race for the Western Conference's final playoff spot.
"I heard a lot of rumours at the start of the season, but I'd really be surprised if anything was done now. It's kind of died down," the six-foot-two, 177-pound Mississauga native and Los Angeles Kings draft pick said yesterday.
"We're four points out of the playoffs (and) we're getting (forward) Danny Fritsche back after world juniors, so I really don't think Danny and I will go anywhere else. I expect we'll try to get that playoff spot.
"But we'll have to wait and see as we get closer to the (Jan. 10) deadline."
Some may feel that London would be a good fit for Munce but the Knights appear to be rolling right along with the tandem of 19-year-olds Gerald Coleman and Ryan MacDonald.
When a team has only dropped two of 36 games, it's hard to complain about the goaltending.
"I have heard (the talk) but Gerald and Ryan are playing pretty well for them," Munce said. "I'm just focused on the Sarnia Sting and helping get us to the playoffs."
Coleman, who made 33 saves and improved to 19-1-2 for the season, saw the past two games as a critical showdown to cement his status in the Knights goal and among the league's elite.
"(Munce) is known to be one of the better goalies in the league, so it's nice to get a couple of wins," Coleman said. "We're missing some of our best players, they're missing some of theirs. Both teams had quality scoring chances and we managed to get the win."
Coleman displayed yesterday he can play the kind of style the powerful Knights need.
Leading 3-1 in the second period, Coleman went six minutes without seeing a shot and then made a spectacular pad save on Sarnia captain Marco Caprara.
"We're used to that here," Coleman said. "That's what happens. You won't see many shots and then the team needs a big one. You have to be ready."
It was a good weekend for the Tampa Bay pick to be on top of his game. Lightning goalie coach Jeff Reece showed up in Sarnia on Friday night to get a good look at his team's net prospect.
"I heard after the game (Knights goalie coach) Dave Rook told me Jeff was there," Coleman said.
"It's great. It shows they're watching."