Coleman starts shutout streak

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:48 AM ET

OTTAWA -- Some OHL teams have already paid for the fact that London Knights goalie Gerald Coleman was left off the OHL Western Conference all-star team.

There could be more to come.

Owen Sound Attack general manager Mike Futa and Plymouth Whalers coach-GM Mike Vellucci last week named Adam Dennis of the Knights and Ryan Nie of the Whalers to play in the all-star game Feb. 2 in Owen Sound.

Dennis, who came to the Knights on Jan. 10 from Guelph, was selected based on his play with the Storm.

Coleman yesterday registered his second consecutive shutout and his team-record sixth of the season, stopping 27 shots in a 5-0 win over the Ottawa 67's before a crowd of 9,522 at the Civic Centre.

Coleman blanked the Kingston Frontenacs 5-0 on Friday to equal his own team-record set last year.

Gene Chiarello registered four shutouts in 1997-98.

Coleman, from Romeoville, Ill., bounced back the past two games after being pulled when he allowed two goals in Thursday's 6-2 loss in Peterborough.

"I think after this weekend I showed a lot of good character coming back and playing well," he said following the 12th shutout of his three-year career with London.

"Not getting chosen for the all-star game lit a fire under my rear end. I want to show them I'm not just playing behind a good team."

Coleman leads the league in every category -- a 1.60 goals-against average, .943 save percentage, a 24-1-2 record, plus his six shutouts.

The OHL goals-against record is 2.06, set last season by MacDonald. The Canadian Hockey League record is 1.56, set last season by Kelly Guard of the Kelowna Rockets.

But because Coleman sees on average only 26 shots a game, some say his good numbers are due to the strong team in front of him. The same was said of Canadian junior goalie Jeff Glass of the Kootenay Ice, but he only backstopped Canada to a gold medal at the world junior championship.

GAME GLANCE

Knights 5, 67's 0

London goals: Dylan Hunter, Rob Schremp, Brandon Prust, Drew Larman, Bryan Rodney

Shutout: Gerald Coleman, making 27 saves

Next: The Knights play the Sarnia Sting on Friday at the John Labatt Centre starting at 7:30 p.m.


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