Younger Syvret puts brother to test

JIM CRESSMAN -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:21 AM ET

Danny Syvret wasn't sure who was looking to make whom look bad -- so he chose the easy way out, slipping the puck between his brother's legs.

The one-on-one rush against Corey came during a morning scrimmage at the London Knights training camp at the John Labatt Centre.

In a way it was an awkward moment. The two defencemen had never played against each other, except for the games of pond hockey out behind their house at Christmas.

"I sort of shot through him and I almost scored," Danny said of yesterday's encounter.

"I went down on him on a sort of one-on-one and I didn't really want to try to beat him because I didn't know what was going to happen. I didn't know if he wanted to make me look bad."

There were few times during Danny Syvret's three-year OHL career that the Knights' graduating captain was made to look bad by any opposition player.

And from all reports, Corey, who is just 16, won't do anything to hurt the reputation his 20-year-old brother cemented last season with a host of team and personal awards -- including a world junior gold medal, OHL and Memorial Cup championships, and OHL and CHL defenceman of the year.

It culminated earlier this week when Syvret signed with the Edmonton Oilers after they drafted him. He reports to camp on Sunday.

"It's an inspiration in seeing what my brother did," Corey said, "and right now I'm just trying to start off my career right."

Danny said his brother "is in a good situation."

"I've been through it for three years and for him to have a fresh start and to be here for four and possibly five years, it's a good feeling knowing he's in good hands.

"But he's his own player. He's not Danny Syvret. He's Corey Syvret. So, let him go out and do his own thing. And if you grab hold of him and he becomes a fan favourite, that's great. But really don't expect him to be a Danny Syvret because he plays a different game than me.

"He fought today and I don't think I've ever fought, so right off the bat he's different."

Corey, the Knights' first-round pick in this year's draft after playing junior B with Cambridge, enjoyed yesterday's head-to-head matchup.

"We had a little competition about points," said Corey, who collected two assists as his team won 5-1.

Danny scored the goal and even gave his brother a friendly whack with his stick in front of the net when Danny jumped up into the play with his team desperate to score.

"I was around Danny for three years and he filled me in on the inside scoop," Corey said of what he expects.

"Watching him play I picked up some good things . . . and his living style as well. The way he is with the media and fans, he's really great with that. I'll just try to pattern myself after my brother."

Corey said there were first-day jitters on Wednesday, but yesterday went much better.

"I think I was more anxious than nervous, but now I'm starting to get settled in," he said.

Danny's time as a Knight is drawing to a close but he said he'll always carry the green and gold colours and the memories of the run to the Memorial Cup.

The importance of that championship and how tough it is to win isn't lost on him.

"I remember going to watch a Detroit Red Wings game with Branks (trainer Don Brankley) and he took us down to the dressing room and Shanahan -- sorry, I get a whack in the head (from Brankley) for saying Shanahan; Brendan Shanahan, or Shanny -- took us through the room.

"He then took us out to the bench and we were talking and he said the one thing he wished he had was a Memorial Cup. He talked about how it's 55 teams and once you win your league, it's a tournament of champions and it's a pretty phenomenal thing.

"He was saying all that, and then you look behind him and there's the three Stanley Cup banners he's won in Detroit."

KNIGHTWATCH

Tonight: The London Knights and Sarnia Sting play an OHL preseason game at the John Labatt Centre at 7:30 p.m.

Sunday: The Knights and Sting are at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre at 2 p.m.

Monday: The Knights play the Mississauga IceDogs at the Port Credit Arena at 3 p.m.


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