Knights near wins record

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:48 PM ET

These London Knights just won't quit -- although it took them 38 minutes and 37 seconds to get their act together last night. A penalty-shot goal by Dan Fritsche at 10:05 of the third period, then a power-play goal from Rob Schremp at 13:28 powered the Knights to a 3-2 come-from behind win over the Owen Sound Attack before 9,090 fans at the John Labatt Centre.

The Knights improved to 59-5-2-0 and with two games left in the regular season they can equal or beat the Canadian Hockey League mark of 60 wins in a season set by the 1980-81 Victoria Cougars.

With no further losses, they'll tie the 1978-79 Brandon Wheat Kings for fewest losses in a season in CHL history.

The Knights are in Plymouth, Mich., tonight, and in Sault Ste. Marie tomorrow night and are on the verge of breaking a slew of other records.

"We got a little sidetracked before the game and we lost our focus for a bit," Schremp said of a 10-minute pregame ceremony that honoured various players for their accomplishments this season.

Schremp said Drew Larman's goal at 18:37 of the second period, squaring it at 1-1, was a wakeup call for the team.

"We kind of figured it out after that," he said. "We knew what Owen Sound was doing.

"We just didn't know what we were doing."

Bob Sanguinetti put the Attack ahead 2-1 at 6:10 of the third with a power-play goal before the Knights came back with two.

Fritsche was awarded his penalty shot when he was hauled down on a breakaway.

A week earlier, Josh Beaulieu scored on a penalty shot against Windsor.

Schremp's winner was his 41st goal of the season.

"We want to win these next two games, we really want to get that one," he said of the record for most wins.

"Sixty is big, plus we want to have momentum going into the playoffs. This game sends a message we're not going to quit."

Head coach Dale Hunter said forward Corey Perry and defenceman Danny Syvret won't play the last two games and that forwards Dylan Hunter, David Bolland and Fritsche, and defencemen Marc Methot and Dan Girardi won't play in Sault Ste. Marie.

That will allow those players to rest up for Thursday's first-round playoff opener against Guelph.

Perry, held off the scoresheet last night, finishes with 47 goals and 83 assists for 130 points. He'll become only the third Knight in the team's 40-year history to win the league scoring crown.

Dave Simpson won in 1981-82 with 155 points and Jason Allison won in 1993-94 with 142 points.

Dylan Hunter is the closest player to Perry, 28 points back. "He has to have a good night (tonight), I guess," Perry smiled.

"Winning the scoring title was a personal goal I set at the start of the season after losing by five points (to Ottawa's Corey Locke) last year.

"It's something I can put in the resume, but I couldn't do it without everybody here. I wouldn't have had a chance in hell of doing something like this without these guys."

This likely will be the first season since 1965-66 the OHL doesn't have a 50-goal scorer.

Geoff Platt of Erie has 45, with one game left tonight against Saginaw. Platt said it is his goal to beat Perry in goals.

"They're setting every single record in the CHL this year (and) to take something like that away from them would be special to me, and I'm sure the rest of my teammates," Platt told the Erie Times News.

"It would be a nice feather in the cap just to take that one away from the London Knights."

Perry shrugged it off.

"It doesn't matter," he said. "What we've done as a team is more important than scoring goals.

"It's a team game and if (Platt) doesn't see it like that, then he's a selfish player. If he's just looking to win a scoring race in goals and his team's not winning, what's the point in that?"

GAME GLANCE

Knights 3, Attack 2

London goals: Drew Larman, Dan Fritsche (penalty shot), Rob Schremp

Owen Sound goals: Bobby Ryan, Bob Sanguinetti

Next: The Knights play in Plymouth, Mich., tonight at 7:30 p.m., then are in Sault Ste. Marie tomorrow for a 7 p.m. game.


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