Knights put muzzle on Dogs

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 2:01 PM ET

Corey Perry scored 40 goals as an 18-year-old with the London Knights in His younger brother A.J. is nearly halfway there.

The 18-year-old Perry scored twice to lift his season total to a surprising 19 goals in London's 3-1 victory over the Mississauga IceDogs before 9,090 last night at the John Labatt Centre.

The six-foot, 185-pounder had a great chance to record the hat trick and pick up his 20th of the season late in the third period but couldn't pop the puck over IceDogs goalie Kyle Knechtel's shoulder.

"At the start of the season, I wanted to score 20 goals this year -- that was my target," Perry said.

"It's been a nice start. We have 10 days off now for Christmas and I'm going to train hard because I want to come back and keep it going."

He also doesn't want to come back lighter in the wallet.

"We have this thing where you can't come back from Christmas break more than two pounds over your normal weight or it's a 10-dollar fine for every pound you're over," he said with a grin.

"We don't want to have to put into the pot for that."

Typically, Perry scored both of his goals on the power play and was no more than two feet from the opposition crease when he got them.

"That's what I've been doing all year and it's not going to change," he said.

"It helps when you have guys like Rob Schremp and Dylan Hunter and David Bolland passing the puck to you. It makes it a lot easier."

London, the second ranked team in the Canadian Hockey League, enters the Christmas break on a four-game winning streak and busted up red-hot Mississauga's four-game winner in the process.

One night after a sub-par performance against Sudbury, London goalie Adam Dennis turned aside 42 shots for his 24th win of the season.

"The Sudbury game was fresh in my mind and you want to be able to bounce back," he said.

"We had some young defence in there but they helped me a lot. When you see the puck, you're able to control the rebound and they did a great job of that."

The Knights sent 17-year-old goalie Steve Mason yesterday to the Strathroy Rockets of the Western Junior B Hockey League to play some games.

The Oakville native had not seen action since the return of Dennis, who isn't interested in any vacation time.

"It's the coach's decision but I want to be in there kicking out pucks," Dennis said.

"I want to be in there every game."

Chris Wall, who was called up from the London Nationals yesterday, was Dennis' backup.

Last night's game was the final OHL tilt in a memorable 2005 for Rob Schremp, who departs today for Seattle to join the United States team for the world junior hockey championships.

Knights governor Trevor Whiffen received an e-mail yesterday from the OHL office saying that the league had investigated Schremp's stick incident in Kitchener last week and that no suspension has been warranted.

Jamie VanderVeeken, London's hero in Friday's 6-5 win over Sudbury, left the game in the first period and went to hospital for x-rays on his wrist. His status is day-to-day.

Mississauga's 2005 first-rounder Jordan Skellett, a London native and former Junior Knights standout, picked up an assist in his first game back in his hometown.

He had a glorious opportunity for his first OHL goal but was stopped by Dennis after being sent in alone in the second period.

New IceDogs goalie Knechtel has seen the inside of the JLC plenty this season. He was with Windsor when the Spitfires visited twice earlier this year and then made a return trip to London on Nov. 18 during his brief stint as a member of the Owen Sound Attack.

The IceDogs acquired Knechtel two weeks ago as part of a trade for 2004-05 OHL goalie of the year Michael Ouzas.

London forward Sergei Kostitsyn, who is back home in Belarus trying to help his home country qualify for next year's world junior hockey championship, has two goals and six points and 18 penalty minutes in four games at the B pool tournament. Belarus and Kazakhstan play a critical game today that should determine which team earns promotion to the top-tier tournament next year.

Kostitsyn is expected back in London on Boxing Day when London defenceman Corey Syvret and assistant coach Jacques Beaulieu depart to join Team Ontario for the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge in Saskatchewan.

GAME GLANCE

Knights 3, IceDogs 1

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

Mississauga goal: Oskar Osala

Next: London heads into the holiday break and resumes action Dec. 28 in Guelph against the Storm.


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