Prust brings game to foes

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:37 AM ET

There are two ways to draw a penalty -- take a dive or work so hard, the opposition has to haul you down to slow you down.

London Knights pesky forward Brandon Prust specializes in the latter. Through sheer effort, the gritty, 21-year-old London native drew three penalties in his team's Memorial Cup-opening win against Rimouski Saturday and two more in last night's 4-2 victory over Kelowna.

One of Prust's specialties against the Rockets led to Corey Perry's power-play game-winner and London's only goal with the man advantage in the tournament. The Knights have had 14 power-play chances in two Cup games and Prust is responsible for nearly half of them.

"Sometimes, you get a stick in the face and it knocks off your bucket and that's going to be called anyway," he said. "Other times, if you keep pushing and hustling, which is what we're trying to do out there, you're going to get a few calls.

"We're working hard, we're happy with the way the first two games have gone. We've started slow in both, but we showed we can recover -- that's why we are where we are."

London's power play hasn't produced its usual results, but Prust knows it's a matter of time and he'll keep creating opportunities. He's been valuable for the Knights so far, whether antagonizing Sidney Crosby or getting physical with the big Kelowna defence.

"There should be (a statistic for penalties drawn)," London captain Danny Syvret said with a grin. "Brandon never stops moving his legs, he keeps pushing forward and that's why he draws a lot of penalties. It's a big reason why the Calgary Flames drafted him last summer."

Former London Knight Dino Ciccarelli became a wealthy man in the NHL by getting manhandled in the crease, drawing penalties, then infuriating the opposition by scoring on the ensuing power play.

Dylan Hunter has been Prust's teammate since the two were greenhorns with the London Nationals in the Western Junior B Hockey League.

"He's our heart and soul for sure. He works so hard out there. He draws penalties and does the things you have to do to win." Hunter said. "He gives us the chances on the power play and he'll keep doing that every game."


Videos

Photos