Knights snipers chase 50

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 8:51 AM ET

MISSISSAUGA -- The London Knights haven't had a single 50-goal scorer since Max Spiridonov hit the magic mark in 1997-98.

If they keep filling the net, Rob Schremp and David Bolland are good bets to get there this year.

Schremp, who is averaging more than a goal a game since returning from Edmonton Oilers training camp, has a career-high 43 goals while Bolland has 39 tallies with 18 games left in London's regular season. Both shooters know reaching the half-century mark, especially getting 50 in 50 games played, is easier said than done.

"This is the time of year when David and I usually go in a slump for some reason," Schremp said. "Last year, I had 30 goals at Christmas and only ended up with 41. The schedule gets tougher and you're playing against teams two or three times in a couple of weeks so they get to know what you're doing out there. There's no more surprises. But it would be a benchmark. Fifty goals isn't easy to score in this league."

Corey Perry scored 47 times last year and linemate Dylan Hunter said there was a concerted effort to help their top scorer try to crack the 50-goal plateau.

"Corey had something like 40 with nine or 10 games to go," Hunter said. "We kept feeding him to try to get him there but it didn't happen. It's not easy to do."

Bolland said he realizes he has to take a few pages from Schremp's book and shoot the puck more frequently to reach the 50-goal milestone.

"At the start of the year, you think it would be great to get to 50 goals," Bolland said. " It doesn't happen all the time, especially when you miss games for the world junior (tournament). I'm a guy like Dylan Hunter who is usually looking to pass first. When you're not going good, you even look to pass more but I know I have to fire the puck and get a few more scoring chances to get there.

"You have to mix it up and keep the defence and goalie off balance so they don't know what you're going to do."

By the end of this season, Schremp and Bolland could end up being the OHL's most productive pair since Ottawa's Corey Locke (63 goals) and Matt Foy (61 goals) combined for 124 goals in 2002-03. Former Knight Scott Sheppard was the third member of that line and used to say he picked up almost 100 points just by digging the puck out of the corner for those guys.

"That was a gong show with those guys in Ottawa," Bolland said. "That's a heck of a lot of goals."

While Schremp always keeps the cannon loaded for a chance to showcase his big shot, Bolland, whose previous-best was 37 goals as a 17-year-old, is deceptively quick on his feet and capable of creating his own scoring chances.

"I know I have a weird skating style and I know it doesn't fit what they do in power skating but I've always been able to get to the puck first," Bolland said. "We had a speed skater work with us in Chicago and we were taught to stay low and that helped. When you stay low, you don't get knocked off the puck as much. You aren't as open to the big hit."


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