Schremp's goal all Knights needed

JIM CRESSMAN, Free Press Sports Reporter

, Last Updated: 11:28 AM ET

If the Edmonton Oilers liked what they saw from Rob Schremp at the world junior hockey championship, they're going to love how he has played in his first two games back with the London Knights. Schremp scored a goal last night and created many other scoring chances as the Knights beat the Oshawa Generals 2-0 before a sellout crowd of 9,090 at the John Labatt Centre.

Goaltender Ryan MacDonald made 20 saves, including one on a breakaway in the final minute of the first period, for his second shutout this season and the fourth of his two-year OHL career.

Generals goalie Ryan Gibb stopped 43 shots and had the Knights shaking their heads.

The Knights lead the country at 34-2-2-0, while Oshawa is 12-23-2-1, last in the Eastern Conference.

"He's a good goalie," Schremp said of Gibb. "He really moves side to side well, and that's where we usually beat goalies is making those backdoor plays. But he always seemed to be right there.

"I thought they played us well. We had a tough time with them in their zone, but he was probably their best player."

Schremp, who scored twice Thursday in a 5-2 win at Windsor, was an Oilers' first-round pick in the 2004 NHL entry draft. All the top brass were in Grand Forks, N.D., to see him play for the U.S.

Schremp now has 29 goals in 33 games, one less than all last season. Erie's Geoff Platt leads the league with 31.

Schremp, who was playing left wing with the U.S. instead of his usual centre, scored four goals at the world junior.

The Oilers were pleased with how he worked his way up to the third line and a lot of power-play time after starting out as the 13th forward.

Schremp's goal last night was at 1:57 of the first period.

He was stoned point-blank by Gibb late in the second period, then grazed a shot off the post early in the third.

"I'm getting my chances, and that's the main thing. Even if I didn't come out of tonight with a goal, I still would have been happy.

"I had tons of chances. That that's the main thing. When you don't get chances, that's when you start worrying and changing your game around. Right now, I'm having fun and having success. It's a fun time."

Despite limited ice time early at the world junior, Schremp said it was a good experience.

"The speed out there is unbelievable. I was there for three weeks and you have to speed your game up. And bringing that back here has really helped me the last two games to have success with the puck and moving the puck and finding holes to score goals."

David Bolland scored the Knights' other goal at 6:14 of the third period.

Referee Scott Oakman and goal judge Dave Hilliard missed a goal by the Knights' Jordan Foreman with 5:37 left.

London's Trevor Kell and an Oshawa player crashed into the net, then Foreman shot the puck in but it went undetected. The TV replay showed the puck cross the goal line.

The Knights honoured their own and one of Oshawa's during a pregame ceremony. They recognized the gold-medal performance of Corey Perry Perry and Danny Syvret for Canada.

Also on the ice were two members of Canada's support staff -- Knights therapist Doug Stacey, who works at the Fowler Kennedy Sport Medicine Clinic, and Generals trainer Bryan Boyes, Canada's equipment manager.

Schremp was also recognized. The crowd saluted all with a boisterous standing ovation.

Highlights from Canada's 6-1 victory over Russia in the final were shown on the scoreboard.

Perry left the game at 6:18 of the first period with cut on his left arm that needed 15 stitches but returned for the second period. It appeared the injury may have been caused by a skate.

O'Leary suspended

The OHL suspended Guelph Storm forward Mark O'Leary 12 games on Friday for checking from behind in a game Dec. 28 against Mississauga.

O'Leary ran Mississauga defenceman Adam Abraham into the boards in the the Storm's 1-0 win.

The hit earned the 19-year-old a five-minute checking- from-behind penalty and an automatic game misconduct.

KNIGHTS 2, GENERALS 0

London goals: Rob Schremp, David Bolland

Shutout: Ryan MacDonald, with 20 saves

Next: The Knights play the Owen Sound Attack, winners of nine in a row, tomorrow at the John Labatt Centre starting at 2 p.m.


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