Pride drives Knights' rally

Owen Sound goalie Mike Brown gets his glove down in time to stop a breakaway shot by London's David...

Owen Sound goalie Mike Brown gets his glove down in time to stop a breakaway shot by London's David Bolland from getting between his legs in the first period of their OHL game yesterday at the John Labatt Centre in London. Brown frustrated the Knights for most of the game, but London came back to win 5-4 in overtime. (London Free Press/MIKE HENSEN)

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:26 AM ET

Where there's a will, there's a way and the London Knights had that will to win yesterday.

Dylan Hunter's second goal of the game with 21.9 seconds remaining in overtime gave the Knights a 5-4 victory over the Owen Sound Attack before a crowd of 9,070 at the John Labatt Centre.

The Attack, who had a nine-game win streak snapped, including 3-0 over London in Owen Sound on Dec. 29, had gone 15 without a loss and had been beaten just once in their previous 24.

They appeared en route to another win with two third-period goals, but Knights defenceman Danny Syvret tied it with 45 seconds left to send it into OT, where the Knights improved to 35-2-2-0.

The Attack are second-best in the OHL at 27-7-3-2.

"Pride, to be the best," Hunter said of where the Knights are drawing their motivation, given that they've set the Canadian Hockey League record of 31 games without a loss and are in the Memorial Cup as host team.

"Everyone wants to knock us off and we want to stand tall and prove to everyone we are No. 1. In all sports, if you don't have pride, you shouldn't be in the game."

The Knights outshot the Attack 52-40 but Owen Sound goalie Mike Brown, obtained last month from Saginaw, kept it close.

"They're our biggest competition," Hunter said of the Attack. "They'll be tough and Brown brings a lot of intensity. He obviously has our number most of the time and it helps a goaltender if you play on a good team."

Hunter, who has 20 goals and is second in league scoring with 64 points (two behind teammate Corey Perry), scored the only goal of the first period at 18:41.

Defenceman Bryan Rodney gave London a 2-0 lead at 6:08 of the second after Brown stoned Perry twice.

Colin Hanley scored Owen Sound's first goal at 9:05 on a defensive miscue by Knights forward Rob Schremp.

Brad Richardson then tied it at 12:45.

Perry gave the Knights a 3-2 lead with a short-handed goal at 18:19, his 25th of the season.

Stefan Ruzicka tied it for Owen Sound 45 seconds into the third period as Schremp again didn't pick up his man.

After the goal, he smashed his stick over the crossbar.

"My defence sucked today," Schremp said. "I gave them two goals myself. I haven't had any bad screwups like that all year, I don't think.

"The game's so fast, you've got to make quick decisions and I made the wrong ones."

Schremp made amends by assisting on Syvret's goal.

"It cost me 150 bucks, that stick he broke over the crossbar, but he does know he made a mistake on the coverage," said Knights coach Dale Hunter, also a co-owner.

"Sometimes they don't even know they made a mistake, but by showing me that, and I don't want him to do that again, Robbie cared. I didn't even say nothing to him."

Igor Gongalsky gave the Attack a 4-3 lead at 9:50 of the third period after Bobby Ryan muscled his way out of the corner with the puck.

Brown stoned Schremp twice and David Bolland once in the final five minutes before Syvret scored the equalizer.

Goalie Ryan MacDonald was on the bench for a sixth skater.

"You want to have a good feeling about about yourself and the kids don't quit," Dale Hunter said.

"It's the character of the kids again and the willingness to compete and not accepting defeat. They will lay it all out there on the ice and I think the fans saw that tonight."

Attack coach Mike Stothers wasn't about to say these games are a preview of the conference final, even though NHL scouts are saying they're the league's best teams.

"I don't know if you want to look that far ahead, there's still a lot of hockey to be played between now and then," Stothers said.

"If the standings are what they're looking at, then maybe so, but I don't think that does the Kitcheners and the Eries and everybody else any justice. Go to the other conference and Peterborough's a darn good hockey club."

The OHL trade deadline is today at 6 p.m. and Knights GM Mark Hunter said he didn't have anything in the works yesterday.

"I don't think there's very much out there right now," he said. "Unless something materializes, but right now there's not very much happening."

GAME GLANCE

Knights 5, Attack 4 (OT)

London goals: Dylan Hunter, two, including 4:38 into OT, Bryan Rodney, Corey Perry and Danny Syvret, tying it with 45 seconds remaining in the third period

Owen Sound goals: Colin Hanley, Brad Richardson, Stefan Ruzicka, Igor Gongalsky

Next: The Knights play the Kitchener Rangers on Thursday at the John Labatt Centre at 7 p.m. The Brampton Battalion are at the JLC on Friday at 7:30 p.m.


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