A season of records for Knights

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:00 AM ET

The London Knights are smashing records at a record-setting pace.

It's happening so fast the people who keep official track of them are going to wait until the end of the season to compile all the numbers.

"Our plan is at the end of the year we will try to come up with some type of presentation piece that would do all of that," Aaron Bell, director of information for the OHL and Canadian Hockey League, said yesterday.

"They are certainly setting them faster than we can rewrite the record books. I've been with the league seven years and I've never seen anything like this. And I don't know if anybody has seen another team like this.

"It's unbelievable the numbers the Knights are putting up. It's just unreal. I'm sure I'll be spending a good part of my summer vacation trying to record what they did.

"But this is such a great story and it's been so much fun."

Bell said the media attention surrounding the Knights reached a fever pitch as the team approached breaking the CHL's longest unbeaten streak.

"That media interest is down a little bit now, but I'm sure as they get closer to setting a record season, it's going to pick up again."

The Knights, 40-4-2-0, have already set OHL and CHL records for the longest unbeaten streak (31 games) and the OHL record for the longest road winning streak (14 games). London also set the standard to begin a season with its 31-game run.

With 22 games left in the regular schedule, there are numerous records on the Knights' horizon.

The most wins in an OHL season is 54 by the 1984-85 Soo Greyhounds and 60 in the CHL by the 1980-81 Victoria Cougars.

The Knights set the OHL points record last season with 110 and can break that this year. They also have their eye on records for fewest losses.

The OHL record is seven -- by the 1972-73 Toronto Marlboros. The CHL record (five) is by the 1978-79 Brandon Wheat Kings, who had held the unbeaten mark before the Knights came along.

The Knights also own the OHL record for fewest goals against, setting it at 147 last season. The CHL record is 143, by the 1967-68 Flin Flon Bombers, and the Knights are on pace to give up only 133. They have surrendered just 90 goals in 46 games.

Goaltender Gerald Coleman is also on pace to establish OHL and CHL goaltending records for lowest goals-against average.

Coleman sits at 1.60. The OHL record is 2.06, set last season by former Knight Ryan MacDonald. The CHL record is 1.56, set last season by Kelly Guard of the Kelowna Rockets.

The Knights, with a 19-3-0-0 road performance, have a shot at records for most road wins.

The OHL mark is 24 and is shared by the 1998-99 Ottawa 67's and 2003-04 Guelph Storm. The CHL record is 30 by the 1978-79 Trois-Rivieres Draveurs.

The fewest road losses in OHL history is seven by the 1990-91 Oshawa Generals and the 1998-99 67's.

The Knights' records even extend beyond the arena.

Their 0-0 tie with the Storm at the John Labatt Centre on Dec. 10 to break the CHL's unbeaten mark drew 287,000 viewers to the national broadcast on Rogers Sportsnet, the highest rating the network has had for a major junior game.

There are likely more records tucked away in the annals of both leagues that the Knights will uncover along the way.

Bell may have to consider giving up his summer vacation entirely.

KNIGHTWATCH

Tonight: The London Knights meet the Sarnia Sting at the John Labatt Centre starting at 7:30 p.m.

Tomorrow: The Knights are in Owen Sound for a 7:30 p.m. game.

Sunday: The Kingston Frontenacs are at the JLC. Game time is 6 p.m.


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