Knights' Foreman at forefront of action

MORRIS DALLA COSTA -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:38 PM ET

Jordan Foreman is going to have one heck of a season for the London Knights.

That's if no one manages to fully connect with the target that seems permanently etched on his body.

The second-year forward can skate, shoot and handle the puck. He likes the wide-open game, but he doesn't mind getting down and dirty if he has to.

He's going to need to have a big season. The Knights have been struggling during the exhibition season. They lost their fourth game of five last night at the John Labatt Centre, this one 6-4 to the Windsor Spitfires.

Foreman's a disturber. He'll aggravate, annoy and get in the opponent's face. Whenever he's on the ice, he seems to find the action. Or maybe the action just finds him.

Thursday night against the Spitfires, David Lomas hammered him with a big bodycheck. In the third period, the Spitfires' Steve Downie took a run at him at the side of the net, earning a major for charging and game misconduct. Foreman stayed down on the ice for several minutes.

Last night in the first period, Mike Weber earned a double-minor for highsticking -- guess who -- Foreman. In the third period, Foreman and Paul McFarland fought.

"I don't know what all that's about," Foreman said. "I don't think I did anything (to make them mad).

"I'm just playing my game and if they don't like it, I don't care. I'm not going to change my game for anyone."

Knights trainer Don Brankley can offer some insight about how Foreman can irritate the opposition.

"He's just a funny guy," said Brankley. "He has a great sense of humour."

Then Brankley revealed another aspect as to why opposing players like to focus on Foreman. Brankley compared his ability to get under people's skins like former Knight and NHL great Dino Ciccarelli. Anyone who knew Ciccarelli knew how he could cut an opponent with his tongue as quickly as with a scalpel.

"That's always how I play. I'll do whatever I can to help the team," said Foreman. "If I can get other players off their game, that's great as long as I keep playing my game."

Foreman has always had the ability to score. He'll get a lot more ice time this year and he'll see more special team play. With the new rules preventing obstruction, the Knights expect a big season from the five-foot-nine forward. Foreman expects big things from himself.

"I'm expecting a big season personally," said Foreman. "Losing guys like Corey Perry is a big loss, but guys like myself are going to have to step up with big-time goals.

"The new rules for me are a lot better. Big guys out there can't hold me up. It gives me more room."

Foreman can get hot. But he recognizes the need to put a lid on it.

"People don't need to tell me. I know where the line is," said Foreman. "Sometimes emotions get the better of you, but for the most part you have to control it on the ice."

One player who is emerging from the pileup of players is Jamie VanderVeeken, a 19-year-old acquired from Ottawa. VanderVeeken has been around the OHL. This is his fifth stop. But he's put up good numbers, scoring four goals, including two last night.

He's big and tough to move from in front of the net.

"I want to be a big presence in front of the net," VanderVeeken said. "I hope this continues during the season. I just want to help."

During this rough preseason, unexpected help is something the Knights could use.

GAME GLANCE

Windsor 6, London 4

London goals: Jamie VanderVeeken 2, Steve Ferry, Kris Belan

Windsor goals: Ben O'Connor, Colin Carwardine, Steve Downie, Jeremy Reese, Brian Soso, Jonathan Sciacca

Next: Friday at the John Labatt Centre vs. the Mississauga IceDogs


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