London grabs three goals in 46 seconds

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:41 PM ET

Hard-working London forward Kris Belan had a pretty good feel for the exact moment his Knights turned out the lights on the Erie Otters' hopes last night.

That would be when coach Dale Hunter put him and his grinder-line mates out for rare work on the power play late in London's 7-1 victory over the Otters before 9,090 at the John Labatt Centre.

"Erie takes a penalty in the third (period) and we heard our line called up next and we kind of looked around at each other," the 18-year-old Belan said with a grin. "Veek (forward Jamie VanderVeeken) turned and said, 'Dale, it's a power play.' He said, 'I know.' For us, it was a great feeling. We don't work on the power play much. We know what we have to do but we can't do it the way (Rob) Schremp and (David) Bolland can."

After a couple of hard-fought wins over Windsor and Sarnia last weekend and facing the prospect of three games in three nights this weekend, the high-octane Knights struck for three goals in a 46-second span in the first period, then buried four straight power-play goals in the second period for the 13th win in their last 14 games.

"Our offence is explosive and once one of us gets one, we all feel like we're going to get one," said Knights forward Josh Beaulieu, who scored in his first outing back from a two-game suspension. "You can say that it hurts the other team. When you score three goals in 40 seconds like that in the first period, it's a big hole for them to have to dig out to get back in it."

The London troika -- by Schremp, Beaulieu and Bolland -- wasn't a team record for speedy scoring. Brian Dobbin singlehandedly popped three goals in 26 seconds in the third period of a game in Sault Ste. Marie on Feb. 9, 1986.

Schremp finished with a five-point game and remains behind teammate Bolland, who added four points to his OHL-leading total. The Knights scored on their first four power-play chances and Hunter wasn't about to pepper Erie head coach Dave MacQueen with a steady helping of Bolland and Schremp for the rest of the game.

"When you get up early like that, it really gives our young guys a chance to play," said 20-year-old Knights defenceman Frank Rediker.

"They get a chance to learn and on defence, when they're playing, it means I don't have to be out there as much. It helps all of us out."

Busting out of the gate was a particular focus for London, which felt it had been playing sluggishly in the early part of the last few games.

So far, the Knights have outscored the opposition 48-25 in third periods, but only 34-21 in first periods and 35-27 in second periods.

"We haven't been very good at the start of games lately," Knights captain Dylan Hunter said. "That's something we're really trying to improve.

"Lately, we end the first period with a 0-0 tie or a 1-0 game and that's not good enough.

"We want to be able to jump on teams right away, get a lead early and play from in front."

The Knights head to Plymouth tonight and to Sault Ste. Marie tomorrow. They also face the dreaded three-in-three next weekend with Guelph and Owen Sound at the JLC Thursday and Friday before their first visit to Erie for a return match.

"It is a big deal for us," Schremp said. "Three-in-three is not easy.

"For a guy like me, I'm playing something like 22 minutes a game on average, so to have to ride the bus for three hours to Plymouth and then to the Sault is another seven hours.

"It's tough and it wears on you. It all adds up."

GAME GLANCE

Knights 7, Otters 1

London goals: Rob Schremp (2), Josh Beaulieu, David Bolland (2), Jordan Foreman, A.J. Perry

Erie goal: Jake Heller

Next: The Knights head to Plymouth tonight to face the Whalers at 7:30 p.m., then roll on to Sault Ste. Marie for a game tomorrow at 7 p.m.


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