Dennis, Foreman spur Knights

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:21 AM ET

With most of their offensive magic makers in Vancouver, there's no secret potion that's keeping the London Knights on top of the OHL's Western conference.

It's just a mix of hard work and goalie Adam Dennis.

Forward Jordan Foreman, who provides a jolt of energy every shift he plays, struck for the game-winner with 3:17 left in the third period and Dennis was at his acrobatic best as the Knights beat the Sting 3-1 to close out 2005 before 9,090 yesterday at the John Labatt Centre.

"Their goalie (Sarnia's recently acquired Ryan Nie) seemed to have a good glove hand, so I tried to go low and luckily it went in," Foreman said of his 10th marker this season. "With David Bolland and Rob Schremp at the world juniors (in British Columbia), we're not a team that's going to score a lot. We're going to have to be defence first and score timely ones."

The 20-year-old Dennis kicked aside 36 Sarnia shots, many of the difficult variety, and improved his record to 25-5 this season. With a Memorial Cup ring in May and a tremendous start to his final junior campaign, he won't be anxious to turn the calendar over to 2006 today and shut the door on a memorable 2005.

"We have curfew so it's just get to bed and prepare for (tonight's rematch) in Sarnia," Dennis said. "When you're a hockey player, you get used to not celebrating New Year's Eve."

The bleary-eyed Sting, whose snowy road trip through Michigan from the Sault on Friday night didn't land them in Sarnia until 5:30 a.m. yesterday, have lost nine straight games and a troublesome 17 of their past 18 contests.

Former Sting defenceman Matt Pelech opened the scoring in the second period against his old club with his first goal for London and ex-Knight Steve Ferry, who went the other way in the deal to Sarnia along with Matt McCready, replied in the third period before Foreman's heroics.

"It was nice to score that one," Ferry, a former London first-rounder, said. "But we lost, so it doesn't matter and now we're going to have to go back home and try to get them (tonight)."

Dennis said Ferry always had his number in practice when the two were teammates.

"He always seemed to score on me, whether it bounced off a stick or a skate or whatever," he said. "Now that we're playing against each other, it's true to form."

On the stoppage before Pelech's goal, Sarnia head coach Shawn Camp was irate at referee Darren Price for negating a late change that left three defencemen on the penalty kill. McCready was forced to play up front and his old squad made him pay for it.

"Three defencemen is better than three forwards in that situation but Harrison Reed had come over to the bench to ask about the penalty kill and was waved off," Camp said. "He had no intention of going off the ice. That one didn't work out for us."

London will play the next month without veteran forward Jamie VanderVeeken (broken arm) but Robbie Drummond played in his first game since hurting his leg against Kitchener on Dec. 7 and assisted on Foreman's game-winner.

Sergei Kostitsyn, who was the MVP at the world junior hockey B pool tournament in his home country of Belarus, scored his first goal since coming back from the championship into an empty net with one second left. Knights forward Kris Belan, who drives Kostitsyn to the rink, spoke to his teammate about helping his country qualify for the top pool at the 2007 world juniors.

"He said it was a lot of fun and that Belarus did better than expected," Belan said. "He enjoyed visiting his parents and he got to go to his old junior team in Gomel and visit with those friends for a couple of days."

GAME GLANCE

Knights 3, Sting 1

London goals: Matt Pelech, Jordan Foreman and Sergei Kostitsyn into the empty net

Sarnia goal: Steve Ferry

Next: London opens 2006 by completing the home-and-home series in Sarnia tonight at 6 p.m. at the Sarnia Sports and Entertainment Centre.


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