Knights yield 6 all-stars

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:29 AM ET

In an OHL season dominated by the London Knights, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the London Knights not only dominated the league's all-star teams but that Dale Hunter was named coach of the year.

Hunter will receive the Matt Leyden Trophy for the second year in succession after leading the Knights to an OHL-record 59-7-2-0 record.

London opened the season by setting a Canadian Hockey League record of 31 games without a loss.

The team set numerous other records, including most wins and points, becoming the first in the OHL to record back-to-back seasons with at least 50 wins and 100 points.

Hunter was first-team all-star coach and was joined on that team by three of his players -- forwards Dylan Hunter and Corey Perry and defenceman Danny Syvret.

Also on the first all-star team are Jeff Carter, a centre from London with the Soo Greyhounds; Kitchener Rangers defenceman Andrew Benoit, and Mississauga IceDogs goalie Michael Ouzas.

The Knights placed both their goalies on all-star teams -- Adam Dennis on the second team and Gerald Coleman on the third.

Dale Hunter, who isn't keen on being in the spotlight when it comes to awards, would prefer to credit the team's success to others.

"It's always special. It's so tough to win," he said. "But it takes the great team that we have. It takes everyone involved. From the players to the scouts doing the drafting.

"They pound the bushes to get us good players. We wind up with good players and it makes it easier for the coaches.

"When you win the coach's award, it's really a team thing."

Hunter was thrilled for his players who made the all-star team.

"I think it's awesome," he said. "We had so many good players on our team. It's a credit to Corey, Dylan, Danny, Adam, Gerald.

"When you look at it we could have had even more. (Bryan Rodney) had a great year, so did (Rob Schremp) and David (Bolland). It was tough, really tough. We have a good team and we play as a team. That's what I'm most proud of. We aren't individuals. We play as a team."

Perry is making his second straight appearance on the first all-star team. Carter and Benoit were second teamers and Dylan Hunter was on the third team last year.

Ballots were cast by OHL general managers.

Ouzas was also selected goaltender of the year, beating out Dennis and Coleman.

Coleman has had one of the most successful seasons for a goaltender in OHL history. Yet despite having lost only two games all year he continues to be overlooked when it comes to awards. He was passed over when it came to getting a chance to play in the all-star game this season.

Knights goalie coach Dave Rook is amazed. He was voted by coaches as the second-most underrated player in the league.

"Gerald is focused on winning the Memorial Cup and making it to the NHL," Rook said. "I guess when he's playing in the NHL, he'll be the one who has the last laugh."

OHL ALL-STARS

First team

Goal: Michael Ouzas, Mississauga IceDogs (50 points)

Defence: Danny Syvret, London Knights (93), Andre Benoit, Kitchener Rangers (75)

Centre: Jeff Carter, Soo Greyhounds (66)

Left wing: Dylan Hunter, London Knights (74)

Right wing: Corey Perry, London Knights (89)

Coach: Dale Hunter, London Knights (57)

Second team

Goal: Adam Dennis, London Knights (41)

Defence: Jordan Smith, Soo Greyhounds (43); Kyle Quincey, Mississauga IceDogs (33)

Centre: Michael Richards, Kitchener Rangers (57)

Left wing: Benoit Pouliot, Sudbury Wolves (45)

Right wing: Bobby Ryan, Owen Sound Attack (35)

Coach: Dick Todd, Peterborough Petes (42)

Third team

Goal: Gerald Coleman, London Knights (39)

Defence: Nathan McIver, Toronto St. Michael's Majors (24); Mark Flood, Peterborough Petes (23)

Centre: Brad Richardson, Owen Sound Attack (29)

Left wing: Liam Reddox, Peterborough Petes (35)

Right wing: Ryan Callahan, Guelph Storm (20)

Coach: Mike Stothers, Owen Sound Attack (27)


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