LONDON -- Corey Perry has been taking physical abuse, he figures, for three of the four years he has been in the Ontario Hockey League, so he is not the least bit surprised he was a main target his first OHL final appearance.
Perry, who earlier this week was named the league's most outstanding player and easily leads the league in shots taken to the head, had a goal and two assists last night as the London Knights beat the Ottawa 67's 4-2 to take Game 1 of their best-of-seven championship series.
Game 2 is tomorrow afternoon, again at the John Labatt Centre.
WON'T ROLL OVER
The 67's fired 43 shots at Knights goalie Adam Dennis and demonstrated they're not going to roll over in this series simply because they already have a berth in the Memorial Cup tourney, May 21-29.
Despite playing a sound road game, the 67's killed their chances of winning with stupid penalties. Ottawa was short-handed only five times, but the Knights' superior power-play unit scored three goals. Two penalties to Ottawa were because of obvious high-sticks to Perry's head and face.
"They are always keying on me and it has always been there," Perry, an Anaheim Mighty Ducks prospect, said. "A cross-check to the face? (Referee Mark Hicks) can't go blindside on that. They were well-deserved penalties and I am glad to see them called."
Think about the talent London sends out on its power plays. There is Perry, Edmonton Oilers' first-rounder Rob Schremp, Danny Fritsche (who played 19 games for the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2003-04), OHL defenceman-of-the-year Danny Syvret and Buffalo Sabres pick Dylan Hunter. The Knights lead the OHL playoffs with a 27.3% success rate while the opponent has a player in the penalty box.
Perry, Fritsche and Schremp all scored with the man-advantage. Kelly Thomson also connected for London.
Brad Staubitz and Jakub Petruzalek replied for the 67's, who left the JLC -- also known as the House of Green -- feeling somewhat nauseous after a fine effort went for nothing. Few expect they will win a game in this series.
"We came here to make a series out of it," Staubitz said. "We didn't come just hoping to get through this. We're a competitive team that is not going to give up."