The London Knights know they're going to be in a dogfight down the stretch with the Kitchener Rangers and Guelph Storm for top spot in the OHL's Western Conference and Midwest Division.
The king of the hill at the end gains home-ice advantage in the playoffs. With London 0-3 in Guelph this season and 0-2 so far at Kitchener, the Knights are fully aware of the advantage in landing the top seed.
So who's in better shape in the final one-third of the schedule?
London has 11 home games and 13 road contests remaining, including tonight's trip to Windsor. The Knights have 10 games left against teams that are lower than sixth place in the standings but will face Eastern Conference-leading Peterborough twice in that stretch.
After last night's game in Mississauga, Kitchener has 10 more home dates and 13 road tilts. The Rangers also have 10 games left against teams lower than sixth, including two more against Eastern Conference basement-dwelling Oshawa.
Guelph has just nine home games left and 12 road contests left following last night's game in Erie. The Storm have eight games left against the weaker teams in the OHL.
Head-to-head, the Knights play Guelph once more, at the John Labatt Centre on Sunday, and Kitchener twice more at home and once at the Aud. Guelph and Kitchener will play each other three more times -- twice in Kitchener and once in Guelph.
Schremp means points
The London Knights have a 29-4-0-2 record in games forward Rob Schremp has played and 2-7 in games he missed while at Edmonton Oilers camp and with the U.S. team at the world junior hockey championship.
Schemp, 19, who is currently leading the OHL with 96 points in 35 outings, must score another 35 points in London's remaining 24 games to top ex-Knight Corey Perry's scoring-title total of 130 points last year.
Incidentally, Schremp is attempting to become the first player to win the OHL scoring title by playing fewer than 60 games since Knight Jason Allison, now a Toronto Maple Leaf, did it with 142 points in 56 games in 1993-94.
Knights forward Robbie Drummond made an immediate offensive contribution on Sunday in Guelph in his first contest after serving a five-game suspension for cross-checking Kitchener's Evan McGrath in the face. The swift-skating 19-year-old Londoner scored his first goal since getting a hat trick on Nov. 6 against Sarnia -- a span of 26 games for the Knights and 16 for Drummond, who missed 10 games because of injury and the suspension.