Knights tarnishing image

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 2:07 PM ET

LONDON -- The London Knights are too good a team on the ice to pull the crap they're pulling off the ice at the Memorial Cup.

Now there's Skategate III.

The Knights called for Oceanic goaltender Cedrick Desjardins' equipment to be checked and measured, said Rimouski coach Doris Labonte after his team's win over the 67's last night.

"Maybe they're trying to make trouble and make our goalie lose his focus," said Labonte. "We were legal.

''The Knights, I don't think they need something like that. They don't have to challenge the goalie. They don't have to dive in games. They're a very good team. They don't need to use that kind of stuff to win. The way they manage things, it's not something I appreciate. They have a lot of people over there. I don't know who's the ringleader."

For all the good the Knights have done this season, they are rapidly tarnishing their image.

Thursday night, they threw 67's trainer Brian Patafie out of their equipment room when he was trying to fix the skate of defenceman Brad Staubitz. He wound up missing about 20 minutes of play.

Makes you want to root for the Oceanic in today's final, huh?

HEAR AND THERE: Four minutes into the game, Patafie went running in the direction of the dressing rooms. Uh-oh ... Well, at least somebody from Ottawa got what they wanted last night. Knights defenceman Marc Methot, an Ottawa native, said prior to the 67's-Oceanic semi-final that he wanted to play Rimouski in the final. He figured a London-Rimouski meeting would make for a better championship game, basing his opinion on the Knights' round-robin game against the Oceanic. "It was a lot closer of a game, it was a lot more intense,'' Methot said. ''It'll be a great show for the fans, too. I think that's the main thing when it comes down to it. With a guy like (Sidney) Crosby on that team leading them the whole way, it'll be kind of a disappointment if they don't make it." Try telling that to your friends in Ottawa.

REVELATIONS: What you missed during the second intermission was 67's coach Brian Kilrea walking straight across the ice to lace into referee Richard Forest. The two linesmen escorted Kilrea off the ice, but not before he picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and raised the temperature in the John Labatt Centre by two degrees. "People who know me know I can't put a couple of sentences together without swearing. But I didn't swear," said Kilrea. "After (he got the penalty)? Yeah." ... Talk here is if the NHL gets a deal with its players, the season will open Oct. 8 with simultaneous puck-drops in 15 cities.

SPECULATIONS: Nice shot by 67's defenceman Brad Staubitz which Jamie McGinn tipped to tie the game 2-2 in the first. At that time Thursday night against London, Staubitz was at Play It Again Sports looking for skates ... The player the 67's are rumoured to be looking at taking with the first pick in the CHL import draft is Czech Michael Frolik. He's expected to be a top-three pick in the 2006 NHL draft, which could be held in 2007 ... or '08.

JUST WONDERING: After the last two practices against his teammates, 67's goalie Danny Battochio must have looked forward to just facing Crosby on a couple of 2-on-1s, and 50 or 60 shots in the game ... You won't get an easier hat-trick goal than the one Crosby got in the third last night. It fluttered down over Battochio's glove and caught the top corner ... 67's defenceman Derek Joslin played with a suspected broken wrist suffered when hit by Jakub Petruzalek in the first practice here. The wrist is too swollen to know if it's broken. But the kid didn't want to miss a chance to play in the Memorial Cup. "I just asked the doctors, 'Can I play? Can we do something to let me play?' He said, 'You're good to go if you want to get frozen up and taped up.' I just beared down and tried to help my team the best I could." That's character, in case you were wondering.

LEMME SAY THIS ABOUT THAT: Stuff was happening so fast in the first period, they hadn't even finished announcing a penalty to Rimouski's Erick Tremblay and it was over (McGinn scored) ... The game really should have been over in the second period, but Battochio kept it at 4-2 with a string of great saves.

NAPKIN NOTES: Just when it might have appeared it couldn't get worse for ineffective 67's winger Bryan Bickell, he winds up in the box for the first two Rimouski goals (one 4-on-4 and the other on the power play) ... When Kilrea was asked about the rough treatment Crosby's been receiving, Kilrea pointed out 67's forward Julian Talbot had his helmet knocked off three times. So what happens on the first shift? Talbot's bucket is on the ice.

PARTING SHOT: When the guy who comes out to shovel the ice around the boards during the TV timeouts gets a bigger cheer than a hat trick by the best player in junior hockey, something is wrong. Guess it's a London thing.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


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