Weary Bolland powers Knights

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 1:44 PM ET

Contrary to expert advice, David Bolland has found himself a new pre-game routine.

No sleep. Exhausted after staying up all night celebrating his gold medal at the world junior hockey championship in Vancouver, the 19-year-old London star and newly crowned Canadian hero still had enough gas in the tank to score twice in leading his Knights to a dominating 6-1 victory over the Belleville Bulls last night before 9,090 at the JLC.

"I didn't get to sleep. Not at all," said Bolland, who was also named the game's first star. "We stayed up and then had to be at the airport early in the morning, so there was no sense (in sleeping). We landed in Toronto in the afternoon and then I came right here to get ready for the game.

"I wanted to play in this one. It's nice to get back here and see the fans and it's something I wanted to do."

In a pre-game ceremony, the Knights showed clips of Canadian world junior highlights on the video board and introduced Bolland to a hearty standing ovation. The team also recognized its U.S. performer, Rob Schremp, and Sergei Kostitsyn, who over Christmas helped Belarus qualify for Pool A at next year's world juniors.

Bolland, who is going head-to-head with Schremp for the OHL goal-scoring lead, was a gracious winner and didn't hurl insults at his American buddy for finishing fourth and out of the medals for the second straight year.

"When we saw each other, I just gave him a little wink," Bolland said. "Robbie was expecting to get it. but no one went too hard on him. I wasn't going to chirp him."

Schremp was disappointed by his favoured team's failure and is still shaking his head over the jeering the club endured during the semifinal against Russia. He received a massive JLC cheer last night.

"It's nice to be back in a place where you're appreciated," Schremp said. "It baffles me how we didn't even get a medal. We took the 'fronze' medal home. It's a new medal for a fourth-place finish called the fronze. Chris Bourque came up with that."

Schremp looked comfortable back in his element and tried another lacrosse-style shot in the second period that just missed the net. It would've been the goal of the season.

The Western Conference-leading Knights won for just the second time in five games. Jordan Foreman celebrated his 19th birthday with a Gordie Howe hat trick (a goal, an assist and a fight) and goalie Adam Dennis missed his first shutout of the season by four minutes.

"It would be nice to get a shutout, but that's a team stat and wins are really all that matter. I'm just going to keep working and the shutouts will come sooner or later."

Foreman, who scored on his first shift, felt Bolland and Schremp were a major boost.

"It adds a lot of goals to our lineup -- that's two fantastic offensive players," Foreman said. "We're all proud of David. Everyone was talking to him when he got here and wanted to hear about the tournament. It was a tremendous achievement."

Bolland learned a gold medal earned him exactly 3:14 of leeway from the officials, taking the game's first penalty for slashing. There was some concern he wouldn't be fully healthy after missing some pre-tournament games with an undisclosed injury.

"It was a hip-pointer, but it healed up before the start of the tournament and it's fine now," Bolland said.

The Knights also welcomed back assistant coach Jacques Beaulieu and rookie defenceman Corey Syvret, who finished fifth with Ontario at the world under-17 challenge in Saskatchewan.

Defenceman David Jarram and forwards Kris Belan and Matt Davis all finished two-game suspensions for a trio of fights Sunday in Sarnia. The OHL is reviewing Jarram's suspension.

GAME GLANCE

Knights 6, Bulls 1

London goals: David Bolland (2), Jordan Foreman, Trevor Kell, Josh Beaulieu

Belleville goal: Cory Tanaka

Next: London plays the Kitchener Rangers tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre.


Videos

Photos