Bolland's hockey road congested

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

If he could, London Knights star David Bolland would spend all of his waking hours at the hockey rink.

This week, the busy 19-year-old scoring machine gets his wish.

Starting tonight in Saginaw, Bolland is set to skate through a Superman-style schedule that will surely test the strength and endurance of the Canadian Hockey League's points leader.

After tonight's road game against the Spirit, Bolland will be the lone Knight playing for Team OHL in the Canada/Russia Challenge tomorrow night at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.

He returns to London for a home game Friday night against Brampton and a Saturday night road game in Sarnia. After a stop in Strathroy on Sunday for a cancer fundraiser to support Knights assistant coach Jacques Beaulieu's friend Paul Logan, he will hop on a bus to compete in part two of the Canada/Russia Challenge on Monday night in Peterborough.

"I'm going to have to make sure I eat properly and get some sleep," Bolland said. "But I love being at the arena. This is what we do. A few of us like Rob Schremp and Dylan Hunter and I would stay all day and night at the rink if they didn't kick us off the ice."

With the travel, it will be tough to keep Bolland's equipment dry but he's not worried about it.

"We have fans to dry our stuff out now but I always hated having to play in wet equipment," the Chicago Blackhawks prospect said.

"I remember (in minor hockey) with the Toronto Red Wings I would play a game in the morning and another one at night and then go right home and throw my equipment equipment in the dryer. You'd get your shin pads in there and they'd be bumping around and making a lot of noise but it's what you'd have to do to get it dry. If you didn't, it felt pretty slimy and cold the next day."

Bolland's main concerns will be exhaustion from the workload and shedding more weight from his six-foot frame. With his lean body, he's never been a target candidate for Weight Watchers.

"I came into the season at 183 pounds and I'm down about 10 pounds," he said. "That's just the toll the season takes on you. You like to have that weight for the body- checks and to be strong on the puck but it's hard to gain weight during the season."

Bolland prepared for this campaign knowing he would be playing a lot of minutes for London and that there was the potential to suit up in various extra games. He spent the summer building up his strength and getting his mind ready for the daily grind.

"Instead of eating six times a day like he's used to, he'll have to eat 12 times this week," Knights assistant coach Jeff Perry said. "We knew at the start it was going to be a busy year for him and it's well deserved. The way he plays, he's never going to take a shift off.

"We know David's never been one you had to worry about gaining too much weight but he'll gain it in time. It happens to everybody -- it's gravity."

If Bolland maintains a high calibre of play this week, his reward will likely be even more hockey.

He knows he's auditioning for a spot on the Canadian team which will defend gold at the world junior hockey championship in Vancouver this holiday season.

"You're used to that time off at Christmas but hopefully, this year I'll be in Vancouver," Bolland said.

"I knew this week was coming up and that people will be watching. I just want to play hard and I'll be looking forward to the end of it when I can get a little bit of rest."


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