Perry moves in on mark

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 1:16 PM ET

Close, but no cigar just yet for Corey Perry. The London Knights forward scored a goal last night in a 5-1 win over the Windsor Spitfires at the John Labatt Centre to pull within one point of all-time team scoring leader Chris Taylor.

Perry, who has 377 points, gets his next shot at the team record tomorrow when the Knights play Erie at the JLC.

Perry opened the scoring with his 46th goal at 13:07 of the first period, bringing the sellout crowd of 9,090 to its feet. Each time he touched the puck after that, the noise level rose in anticipation.

Perry had a couple of other good scoring chances and fed Brandon Prust through the crease in the second period but Prust fanned on the shot.

Perry leads the OHL with 127 points.

"It's only a hockey game and I'm not getting too worried about it . . . but it would be nice to get it over and done with, have it (the record) and move on," he said.

After the final buzzer, he exchanged words with the Windsor bench. "One of their (assistant) coaches said, 'Not tonight,' but we still won the hockey game and that's all that matters," said Perry.

Taylor, 33, now plays with the Rochester Americans in the AHL. He played in London from 1988-89 through to 1991-92.

"It must be pretty exciting for (Perry). And any time you can root for your old team, it's great," Taylor said yesterday from Rochester, N.Y., prior to his own game.

Taylor has had some mixed feelings about Perry breaking his record. "It's always an honour to be No. 1, but they're made to be broken. I welcome it."

Taylor phoned Perry in the Knights dressing room a couple of hours before the game to wish him well. "He said go out and smash the record," Perry said of their conversation. "It's nice to hear that from the leading London Knight point-getter."

Taylor recalled the games that led up to him passing Brian Bradley, the team leader at that time with 373 points.

"You get a little nervous. It was big news and sometimes you don't know if you're going to score another point."

Taylor has been impressed with the numbers Perry is putting up this season.

"It's tougher on him with people bearing down on him, but the key is he's still scoring."

Taylor said the advent of video to break down games also makes it more difficult.

"They didn't do much of that when I played (major junior), but now with the video, people know his ins and outs."

Taylor said it's been fun to follow the Knights' progress.

"They're setting all sorts of records. Everything is win-win right now for them. They've built this team around (Perry). It's made the London Knights better and more power to him."

Dan Fritsche made it 2-0 with a power-play goal at 18:56 of the first period.

Trevor Kell upped it to 3-0 at 9:45 of the second, then Prust made it 4-0 off a short-handed effort at 17:39.

Knights goalie Adam Dennis saw his shutout string end at two games when Iain McPhee scored for Windsor on the power play 39 seconds later.

Josh Beaulieu scored on a third-period penalty shot with 3:30 left, awarded when he was hacked down on a breakaway. "I always work on my shot in practice so I figured when in doubt, take the shot," he said of his ninth goal, to go with his 152 penalty minutes.

Knights defenceman Bryan Rodney was called for a match penalty for a high stick on Windsor's Steve Downie behind the play as Beaulieu was being taken down.

Rodney is suspended at least three games while the league reviews the incident. Downie received a slashing minor.

KNIGHTS 5

SPITFIRES 1

KNIGHTS CAREER POINTS

1. Chris Taylor 378

2. Corey Perry 377

3. Brian Bradley 373

4. Dennis Maruk 370

5. Dennis Ververgaert 351

6. Dino Ciccarelli 346

7. Jason Allison 325

8. Dave Simpson 321

9. Scott Morrison 316

10. Reg Thomas 309


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