Dennis aids run at records

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:57 AM ET

OSHAWA -- Adam Dennis is doing his part to help the London Knights register more entries in the record book.

Dennis turned aside 20 shots yesterday as the Knights blanked the Oshawa Generals 7-0 before a standing-room-only crowd of 3,750 at the Civic Auditorium.

It was the seventh straight win for the Knights, who are 45-4-2-0.

It was the first shutout for Dennis as a Knight after being acquired from Guelph on Jan. 10, giving the team nine on the season and tying the Knights with the 1998-99 Ottawa 67's for second most in OHL history.

Gerald Coleman has six shutouts. Ryan MacDonald registered two before he was sent to Guelph on Jan. 10.

The OHL record is 10 by the 67's in 1997-98, with Craig Hillier (six shutouts) and Seamus Kotyk of London (four) in net.

The Canadian Hockey League record is 14 shutouts, set last year by the Kelowna Rockets of the Western league.

"A game like today, that's a team shutout," Dennis said. "I don't know how many scoring chances they had, but it wasn't many and most shots were perimeter, so you really got to credit our D."

The Knights, with the best defence in the league, have allowed only 101 goals in 51 games and are on pace to give up 135, which would smash their own record of 145 they set last season.

Dennis was called on to kick out a flurry of Oshawa shots in the final minute.

"I actually think it's a bit tougher in games you don't get shots," he said. "You've got to stay focused and be ready when called upon. Most goalies would agree you've got to have more shots to stay in the game. It's more a mental game."

When the shutout record was mentioned, Dennis smiled.

"There's so many records (being set by the Knights this season), you just got to play the game. You can't worry about it too much," he said.

Knights coach Dale Hunter said the shutouts are something in which the team takes pride.

"We've got good goaltending, but our D is also pretty solid back there and our guys take pride in it and they like to see the goalie rewarded," he said.

"Adam had a good, strong game. He made the saves when he had to be there."

OHL scoring leader Corey Perry enjoyed a five-point day, including three goals, giving him 37 goals and 94 points. He has 130 career goals and 344 points in 238 games with London, two points away from Dino Ciccarelli, fourth in team career points.

Knights rookie Jordan Foreman, a seventh-round pick, 131st overall, in 2003, scored two goals, giving him nine.

"Jordie's stepped up," Hunter said. "He's been moved up a line and he's answering it, scoring, plus playing good defensively, taking the man."

Hunter said playing on the same team as Perry helps a young player like Foreman.

"You see what Corey can do with the puck. . . . You practise with him so you can pick up pointers," Hunter said.

As for Perry's output yesterday, Hunter said it was just another day at the office.

"He's in a zone right now. He's moving the puck around and he's getting rewarded for it," Hunter said. Perry has 25 points, including 10 goals, in seven games.

The Knights are 21-3-0-0 on the road as they inch closer to the OHL record for most road wins, which is 24 by Ottawa in 1998-98 and Guelph last season.

The CHL mark is 30 by the 1978-79 Trois-Rivieres Draveurs in a 72-game Quebec league schedule.

The Knights, with 10 more road games, had 23 road wins last season, matching their 23 in 1976-77.

It was really no contest yesterday. By way of comparison, the Knights have scored 31 goals in their past four games, while the Generals have scored two in their past four, shut out three times.

They've struggled under new ownership and management and are last overall at 13-34-3-1.

The Generals are 1-11-1-1 under new coach Randy Ladouceur, hired Jan. 5 to replace Bob McGill.

Brad Selwood took over as general manager at the start of the season when coach-GM George Burnett left for Belleville with the change in owners.

Selwood coached the Knights in 1996-97 and was fired after nine wins and one tie in 50 games. He'd taken over what had been the worst team in CHL history the previous season (3-60-3).

GAME GLANCE

Knights 7, Generals 0

London goals: Corey Perry (3), Jordan Foreman (2), Dylan Hunter, David Bolland

Shutout: Adam Dennis, 20 saves

Next: The Knights play the Toronto St. Michael's Majors on Friday at the John Labatt Centre at 7:30 p.m.

CAREER SCORING

London Knights career points leaders:

1. Chris Taylor 378; 2. Brian Bradley 373; 3. Dennis Maruk 370; 4. Dino Ciccarelli 346; 5. Corey Perry 344; 6. Jason Allison 325; 7. Dave Simpson 321; 8. Scott Morrison 316; 9. Jim McRae 294; 10. Dave Gilmore 289


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