Attack shows no fear

TERRY KOSHAN -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:02 AM ET

Michael Futa and Peter DeBoer fully respect the London Knights but they're not shaking in their skate boots in the wake of the Knights' two major trades at the Ontario Hockey League deadline on Monday.

With just two losses in 39 games, the Knights still found it necessary to acquire forward Dan Fritsche and goalie Adam Dennis in separate trades. When healthy, both can be counted among the top at their positions in the OHL.

"What London has done is extraordinary, but we can't become the London Knights," Futa, the general manager of the Owen Sound Attack, said. "We're trying to become better for next year as well. We can't wipe out the building blocks."

With 59 points and just seven losses, the Attack is closest in the Midwest Division and the league as whole to London. The Erie Otters and Kitchener Rangers are the other clubs in the Western Conference which carry a smidgen of hope of knocking off London in the playoffs.

"I don't think anybody is willing to roll over and hand the Knights the title," DeBoer, the Rangers' general manager/coach, said. "You have to win in March and April and it's yet to be determined whether they can do that."

DAREN DOES IT

Brampton Battalion goalie Daren Machesney said he was somewhat surprised to be named yesterday to the Canadian Hockey League top prospects game next week in Vancouver.

"I kind of had some doubts about it because I haven't played so well lately," Machesney said. "It's a relief. It was one of the goals I set at the beginning of the season."

Forty players in the CHL eligible for the 2005 NHL draft have been invited to participate in the game. Machesney and Sidney Crosby, among others, will play for new coach John Davidson, who will replace Bobby Orr behind one bench. Don Cherry, as usual, will coach the other team.

"It was important that this game proceed regardless," CHL president David Branch said, in reference to the NHL lockout, during a conference call. "There will be (an NHL draft) in due course. These players deserve this game."


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