Before every London home game, Knights forwards A.J. Perry and Jordan Foreman hike high up into the John Labatt Centre seats and pore over the OHL stats booklet.
"I'm ahead of him right now but Jordan keeps saying he's going to catch me and pass me in goals by the end of the year," Perry said with a grin.
Luckily for London, it was a saw-off last night.
Down 2-1 in the third period, Perry provided the game-tying tally and Foreman plunked the game-winner with under five minutes left to rescue the Knights in a 3-2 win over the stingy Sarnia Sting before 9,090 at the JLC.
In case you're counting along with them, Perry now boasts 23 goals while Foreman has 15. The winner bounced off Sarnia defenceman Jamie Fraser's skate and past an unlucky Ryan Nie in the Sting net.
"It was a beautiful pass from Trevor Kell -- our line (along with Josh Beaulieu) worked hard and Dale (Hunter) kept putting us out there," the 19-year-old Foreman said. "Twenty (goals) would be a nice number but I don't want to stop there. I'm just going to keep working and score as many goals as I can."
London, which won for the first time in three games, woke up this morning still in first place in the OHL's Western Conference. The Knights are trying to hold off surging Kitchener and the frustrating Guelph Storm, who return to the JLC for their final visit tomorrow afternoon.
London forward and OHL scoring leader Rob Schremp drew an assist on Perry's goal for his 100th point in his 37th game of the season. It was the third-fastest 100-point campaign in OHL history and only Bobby Smith (33 games), Wayne Gretzky (34 games) and Jim Fox (34 games) got there quicker.
Surprisingly in this rivalry, Sarnia played a disciplined first two periods and held the London to only two power-play opportunities while drawing the Knights into five straight shorthanded situations.
London head coach Dale Hunter was visibly frustrated by the Ryan Carroll's officiating and took a bench minor while he walked off the ice at the end of the second period for gesturing at the referee.
"I only played two shifts in the second period because I don't play shorthanded," Perry said. "But you can't really jump to conclusions because we got some power-play chances in the third and it evened out."
Special teams made a difference again, Sarnia head coach Shawn Camp said.
"Frustrating loss. It was a teeter-totter of penalties. We didn't score on our power play, which had been good recently, and then they got all their chances in the third period. We killed penalties the whole third period and that's a big swing of momentum. But we had our chances in the second and we didn't capitalize."
London goalie Adam Dennis made his 42nd straight start in net and rebounded from being yanked after the second period in the Knights' 5-4 loss to Windsor on Thursday night.
London forward Kris Belan received a match penalty in the second period for slew-footing Sarnia defenceman Tomas Sample. The two fought immediately after the play.
Knights assistant coach Jacques Beaulieu and Sting assistant Greg Walters were ordered to their respective benches during the pre-game warmup because officials were late arriving and couldn't be on the ice to supervise.
Guelph forward Jamie Arniel is sitting five games for his first-period hit on London defenceman Andrew Wilkins last Sunday.
KNIGHTS 3, STING 2
London goals: Ryan Martinelli, A.J. Perry and Jordan Foreman, with the game winner with 4:51 left in the third period.
Sarnia goals: Jared Gomes, Chad Painchaud.
Next: London faces the Guelph Storm tomorrow at 3 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre.
FASTEST TO 100 POINTS
- Bobby Smith, 33 games, 1977-78
- Wayne Gretzky, 34 games, 1977-78
- Jim Fox, 34 games, 1979-80
- Rob Schremp, 37 games, 2005-06
- Andrew Brunette, 38 games, 1992-93
- Doug Gilmour, 41 games, 1982-83
- Corey Locke, 42 games, 2002-03