Knights reloading for Petes

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:58 AM ET

No, those weren't fresh legs arriving at the John Labatt Centre this week to help out the short-handed London Knights play the Peterborough Petes.

Anaheim Mighty Ducks forward Corey Perry and St. Louis Blues defenceman Dennis Wideman can't suit up for their old junior club, but both NHLers, who are on break during the Olympics, are expected to be in the building when the OHL's Western and Eastern Conference leaders clash tomorrow night at the JLC.

The Knights will still be without head coach Dale Hunter, defencemen Frank Rediker and Ryan Martinelli and goalie Adam Dennis, who are serving the second half of their two-game suspension stemming from the London-Plymouth brawl last Friday night in London.

Rookie goalie Steve Mason, who picked up the biggest win of his OHL career in Sunday's 6-3 shocker at Kitchener, will try for a third straight victory in London's last home game until March 10 as the Scott Tournament of Hearts prepares to sweep into town.

"We want to keep going and playing hard and we don't want to give up any ground," said Knights forward David Bolland. "It's been a long season. If I count the world juniors and everything else, I've already played something like 70 games this year.

"You have to take care of yourself because we're heading into an important stretch. You can't be staying out late or anything like that. You have to get your rest, eat right and be disciplined."

London forward Robbie Drummond is closer to being back in the lineup after receiving a positive report from concussion tests. The 19-year-old Londoner, hit hard by Plymouth forward Jared Boll last week, skated with the team yesterday.

Big London defenceman Matt Pelech, who blocked a shot with his face on Sunday, was impressed with the quick and effective treatment he received in Kitchener after the incident.

"It's fine now. It ached for a while but I didn't lose any teeth and I was pretty fortunate it wasn't worse," said the Calgary Flames first-rounder. "Everyone there (in Kitchener) helped out so much and I can't complain about anything. It's a class organization. Even (Rangers scoring star) Evan McGrath came by with a cup of Gatorade and to see how I was feeling."

Knights trainer Don Brankley said he would likely push Pelech to wear the full face shield he played with in the third period Sunday.

"If he gets hit in the face with an elbow, then the cut will reopen and it's back to square one," Brankley said.

Though London wouldn't admit that Friday's brawl with Plymouth helped foster more team chemistry, there was definitely a recharged atmosphere among the Knights after that game.

"It's just something different," Bolland said. "You don't expect a brawl. It doesn't happen all the time, so guys talk about it for a while after it happens.

"We're not that kind of team. We win with skill, but we're not going to let teams push us around."

KNIGHTWATCH

Tomorrow: vs. Peterborough, 7:30 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre

Saturday: at Sault Ste. Marie, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday: at Saginaw, 2 p.m.


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