Knights see the light

TERRY KOSHAN

, Last Updated: 4:54 AM ET

LONDON -- Danny Syvret happily accepted the Wayne Gretzky Trophy from David Branch and then bolted for the dressing room.

A team picture for the London Knights captain and his teammates after winning the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference title last night? Not a chance. It will be a different scene if Branch, the OHL commissioner, presents the

J. Ross Robertson Cup, awarded to the OHL champions, to Syvret some time in the next few weeks.

"Guys came up to me late in the game and asked what I was going to do with it," Syvret said after the Knights trampled the Kitchener Rangers, 6-0, to win the series in five games. "I told them I would just carry it off the ice.

"For 40 years the city has been wanting (an OHL title) and to be the first team to do that would be an honour."

The Knights have made just two previous trips to the final and lost both. They are the heavy favourites this time and will continue their quest next Friday night at home against the Ottawa 67's and their Hall of Fame coach, Brian Kilrea.

Both the Knights, who are the host of the Memorial Cup, and the 67's will play in the tournament for junior hockey supremacy starting May 21.

The Rangers are the only club to beat the Knights in the playoffs, but couldn't keep up last night before a crowd of 9,090 at the John Labatt Centre.

"Our players can hold their heads high," Rangers general manager/coach Peter DeBoer said. "We gave it everything we had and we got a lot accomplished. We lost to a better team."

DeBoer is said to be high on the Maple Leafs' list to coach the AHL affiliate Toronto Marlies if Leafs general manager John Ferguson decides to axe Doug Shedden. The Baby Leafs were eliminated from the AHL playoffs last night, and Ferguson has said Shedden would be judged on the playoffs.

Rangers captain Michael Richards, who won a Memorial Cup in 2003 and a world-junior gold medal this winter, could sign a tryout contract with the AHL Philadelphia Phantoms in the coming days. He was picked by the parent Philadelphia Flyers in the first round in 2003.

"Playing in Kitchener has been the best four years of my life, the memories, the friendships," Richards said.

Rob Schremp, with two goals, Dylan Hunter, Syvret, Jordan Foreman and Kole Bryce scored for the Knights. Adam Dennis made 34 saves for the shutout.


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