Dennis, Hunter lift Knights

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:44 AM ET

Finally, the London Knights can celebrate a victory this OHL season.

Give a big assist to the American Hockey League's Rochester Americans for sparking the party.

After a lengthy stay at training camp with the Buffalo Sabres' affiliate, goalie Adam Dennis and forward Dylan Hunter rolled back into town yesterday to help London stop a four-game losing skid with a 6-2 win over the Soo Greyhounds before a sellout of 9,090 at the John Labatt Centre.

Dennis, who was in net when the Knights shut out Sidney Crosby and the Rimouski Oceanic in the Memorial Cup final last May, kicked aside 28 shots.

Hunter, who finished second in OHL scoring last season behind then-linemate Corey Perry, scored two goals.

Adding to the drama, both showed up at the rink during the pregame warmup.

"We played an exhibition (Saturday night) in Rochester and we got the call (yesterday morning)," said Hunter, 20.

"We called London and they asked if we could make it back for the game. It's about a three-hour drive. We rolled in at about 1:30 (p.m.), so we just made it. It's great to be back here in the rink with all the fans. It's an unreal barn."

No one was happier to see his old buddies than Knights forward Jordan Foreman, who also scored twice. Long after Friday night's loss to Owen Sound, the hard-working Foreman sat alone in the dressing room in full uniform, clearly frustrated.

"Obviously, I was a little disappointed with Friday's game but it felt much better (yesterday)," Foreman said. "It's great to have Adam and Dylan back. It adds a lot. Adam's a great goalie and Dylan gives us another lethal shot out there."

Dennis said Rochester was a tough situation for young players trying to make it because the Sabres and Florida Panthers are splitting the AHL team this year.

"It didn't leave a lot of spots. Florida had already sent them a goalie," said Dennis, also 20. "Rochester said they would be happy if we went pro to play for an ECHL or Central league team. But junior's a blast and there's no reason to leave right away. I thought this first game went well. I felt I was a little shaky early but improved in the third period."

With Dennis and Hunter back, the big question remains with the Edmonton Oilers and their intentions with Robbie Schremp. The goal-scoring forward must either stick with the NHL club or be returned to the Knights.

With Dennis back, Matthew Spezza picked up backup duties yesterday and rookie Steve Mason was a healthy scratch. Hunter's arrival allowed the Knights to use five forwards on the power play, which went two-for-10.

London is now carrying four over-age (20-year-old) players on its roster -- Hunter, Dennis, defenceman Frank Rediker and forward Kelly Thomson -- and OHL teams are only allowed to dress three per game.

Tough guy Thomson was the odd man out as a healthy scratch. If he is the player who ends up being moved, yesterday's opponent could be a natural fit.

Thomson played Tier 2 junior in Sault Ste. Marie before joining the Knights last season and the Greyhounds are currently carrying only one over-ager, forward Ryan Kitchen.

"If the situation is right, you're always looking to add an over-age player," said Greyhounds GM Dave Torrie. "Having only one gives us a chance to evaluate the young guys but things can change. We don't know who they're (the Knights) going to move but now that they're carrying four, I'll talk to Mark (GM Mark Hunter) and see who's available."

London native Kyle Gajewski made his fifth straight start in goal for the Greyhounds. The 18-year-old stopped 22 shots, but is still looking for his first home-town win in the OHL.

"It would be nice to get a win here," the London Junior Knights product said. "We lost all our games here last year."

GAME GLANCE

Knights 6, Greyhounds 2

London goals: Jordan Foreman (2), Dylan Hunter (2), Kris Belan, David Bolland

Sault Ste. Marie goals: Jason Pitton, Brett Halstead

Next: The Knights play the Barrie Colts on Friday, 7:30 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre


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