Bolland misses buddy Schremp

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 1:11 PM ET

No one wants to see OHL leading scorer Rob Schremp's ankle heal quicker than the guy right behind him in the points race.

London Knights teammate David Bolland feels the hard-shooting Schremp's on-ice presence gives him a lot more room to score and an outside shot at 50 goals in 50 games. It'll have to happen this weekend in Sarnia and Plymouth -- Bolland's recent red-light flurry has lifted him to 45 goals in 48 games, while Schremp has 45 in 46 games.

"I'm shooting the puck more, but I know I need a big weekend to get 50 in 50," said Bolland. "Especially on the power play, goalies cheat to Rob's side because he shoots the puck a lot every game, so I'm looking at a lot of empty nets. With me, I'm usually passing, but you try to mix it up so the goalie doesn't know what you're going to do."

The Knights haven't had a 50-goal scorer since Max Spiridonov's 54 in 1997-98, or two in the same season since Dino Ciccarelli (72) and Jim McRae (50) in 1977-78.

Schremp is worried about suiting up for 50 after suffering a swollen ankle in Sault Ste. Marie on Saturday while trying to stop the Greyhounds from clearing the puck. He skated briefly without equipment at yesterday's practice before resorting to heavy icing of the trouble area.

"You never expect something stupid like that to happen when you're on the forecheck on the power play," Schremp said. "It's frustrating, but it's probably better that it happened now instead of in April or even May if we're still around."

Schremp didn't play against Saginaw Sunday, but there's a strong chance he'll be in the lineup tonight against the Western Conference's basement-dwelling Sarnia Sting.

"I think he'll play," said head coach Dale Hunter.

Schremp and Bolland are trying to chase down Owen Sound's Mike Angelidis for the league's goal-scoring lead. The Attack forward has 48, but has played 59 games -- 11 more than Bolland and 13 more than Schremp, who both missed games during the world junior championship.

After only four 40-goal scorers in the OHL last season, there are already seven this year and that number could double. Oshawa's 15-year-old phenom, John Tavares, has 38 and is just three points behind the Knights' Sergei Kostitsyn in rookie scoring.

"The power play and penalty kill have become the biggest parts of the game," Bolland said.

Combined, the two Knights have 60 special-teams tallies, Schremp with 30 power-play goals and Bolland with 28, plus two short handed.

"It's getting a lot tougher for me because the goalies know I'm going to shoot a lot and they're getting used to that," Schremp said.

"I really don't care about 50 in 50. We're two points behind Peterborough with a chance to become first overall in the league and that's what I care about right now."

Dylan Hunter, who passed Dino Ciccarelli last Friday for sixth on the Knights' all-time scoring list, needs two to move ahead of Dennis Ververgaert, who had 351 points in just 187 games from 1970-73.

Hunter has played a franchise-high 305 career games and those two points will also make him the third London player to hit the century mark this season.

"Hopefully, we can get Dylan those two more points this weekend," Bolland said. "It's not every year you have three guys on the same team with 100 points."

The last time that happened was 2001-02, when Belleville's Nathan Robinson, Mike Renzi and Jason Spezza ended up the top three in the league.


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