Hunter notches 300th point

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 12:53 PM ET

No cheap second assist, London forward Dylan Hunter's 300th career OHL point was a game-winning, crossbar-rattling blast taking the Knights back to the top of the Western Conference.

The 20-year-old captain picked up a goal and two assists to help the Knights to a nail-biting 4-3 victory over the Brampton Battalion before 9,090 last night at the John Labatt Centre.

"Rob Schremp kept telling me he wanted to be in on my 300th point," Hunter said with a wide grin. "I had set him up a couple of times in the third period but he didn't score and he kept saying he was sorry. But he set me up on mine so everything is cool."

Hunter's laser beam, which gave the Knights a 4-1 lead they nearly squandered, went in and out of the net so fast, it was hard to tell by human eye if the puck went in the cage.

"I just got off the ice as fast as I could before they changed their minds," Hunter quipped. "I'm sure it went in."

Brampton goalie Daren Machesney kicked aside 39 London shots but he couldn't stop Hunter's bullet.

"All I heard was it hit the bar behind me," said the 18-year-old Lambeth native who was making his lone homecoming of the season. "We didn't have a very good start and that hurt us. If we had played the first two periods like we played the third, we would've been all right."

Tonight in Sarnia against the Sting, Hunter will achieve another team milestone and join former captain Joel Scherban as the Knights' all-time leader in games played.

"I always considered Sarnia home because I grew up 10 minutes away (in Oil Springs)," Hunter said. "It's going to be special because of the way things have always been between Sarnia and us."

Caught in a recent offensive funk, the Knights were searching for someone to step up and they needn't have looked any further than the front of the opposition crease.

London forward A.J. Perry, who rarely scores from more than a metre away from the goaltender, potted a pair of his specialties. More than anything, Perry's two goals proved the Knights don't have to rely on all their scoring to come from the sticks of David Bolland, Schremp and Hunter.

"I just got in there and did what I have to do and I was lucky to be able to knock a couple in," he said. "On my second one, Rob Schremp almost had it and I was able to poke it over the line. They have a bigger defence, it was a little harder to get to the net but that's my job and I have to get there. We're just playing really good hockey right now. Everything's clicking."

After jumping to a 3-0 lead through two periods, the Knights had to scratch and claw for their fourth straight win. Schremp opened the scoring with his 25th goal in 19 games and Perry added his 12th of the season in the first period.

Brampton forward and Colorado Avalanche prospect Wojtek Wolski, who scored three goals and an assist for Team OHL in the Canada-Russia Challenge on Thursday night in Kitchener, ended Adam Dennis's shutout bid with 12 minutes left in the game and the Battalion added two more late goals.

Heading into last night's contest, London had only scored 14 goals in its last five games. Still, the Knights haven't had a regulation loss since their 6-4 defeat Oct. 27 in Windsor. They have dropped two shootouts -- against Plymouth and Guelph for their only defeats in November.

Before the game, the Knights and their fans sent best wishes to NHL referee and Strathroy resident Don Van Massenhoven, who is recovering from facial surgery after being hit by a puck in Florida.

Last night's game was the 500th regular season contest in Brampton's franchise history. Since their inception in 1998, the Troops have an all-time record of 197-251-52.

Despite Perry's output, the Knights still need some more goals from more than just the usual suspects. Forward Trevor Kell has just one goal in 10 games, Drummond hasn't scored since his hat trick against Sarnia on Nov. 6 and Jordan Foreman is scoreless in his past six outings while Sergei Kostitsyn has just one goal in seven games.

"We want to take it upon ourselves to score more goals," Kell said. "I know I've had my share of chances this year so that's a good sign. But I've had some bad luck, too. I feel like I've hit 10 goal posts already."

Defenceman David Jarram sat out his third straight game with a concussion.

KNIGHTS 4, BATTALION 3

London goals: Rob Schremp, A.J. Perry (2), Dylan Hunter

Brampton goals: Wojtek Wolski, Matt Smyth, Luke Lynes

Next: London faces the Sarnia Sting tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre.


Videos

Photos