Foreman big man in Peterborough

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:16 AM ET

PETERBOROUGH -- Jordan Foreman stands just five-foot-nine, but he sure comes up huge in the bigger hockey games.

Three weeks after torching Kitchener for a hat trick on the road with the Western Conference lead on the line, the gritty, little London forward scored twice, including the second-period game-winner, as the Knights wrested top spot in the OHL's overall standings from the Peterborough Petes with a 4-2 win before a sellout crowd of 3,946 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.

"You want to be able to get up for a game like this -- it's for first place in the league and you could really feel both teams were ready to go," said the red-hot Foreman, who has 27 goals this season. "We talked about this (current eight-game) road trip and how important it is. We know we have a chance to win them all. We're the kind of team that can get hot and go on a long winning streak at any time."

Surprisingly, Foreman wasn't among the participants in an unforgettable start to the game: four fights on consecutive faceoffs in the first eight seconds. London's tough guy Josh Beaulieu kicked off the festivities by fighting Justin Soryal on the opening faceoff and the Knights weren't big fans of the Pete celebrating by raising his arms on the way to the penalty box, spawning three more rounds of fisticuffs.

The same two teams held a line brawl in London's lone visit to Peterborough last year and both London coach Dale Hunter and Petes boss Dick Todd sent out players who weren't afraid to drop the gloves.

"I've never seen anything like that before -- four fights in eight second," Foreman said. "I wasn't sure if there was going to be 20 straight fights in the first minute. If there was, we would've showed up. I just think both teams were intense and ready to play."

Peterborough jumped out to an early 2-1 advantage, but suffered its first regulation loss in 25 games this season when leading after the first period.

The Knights fought back to win their eight straight game and ninth in a row on the road in handing the Petes just their fifth loss on home ice.

"It's a tough one to lose because if we did meet in the (OHL) final, that home ice advantage is important -- you wouldn't want to play a Game 7 in their barn if you don't have to," Petes captain Jamie Tardif said. "But we have a long way to go yet. It's just a shocker because we're usually pretty good when we have a lead. We just took too many penalties against them. There were too many dumb penalties and you can't hand them those kind."

London's Rob Schremp, the OHL's top point-getter, scored on a mighty blast in the second period, but ended up one short of the magical 50-goal mark in his 50th game of the season.

Teammate David Bolland popped his 48th into the empty net in the third period to seal the win.

Peterborough played without two top forwards: Steve Downie and Daniel Ryder. Downie sat out the first of a two-game suspension for instigating a fight with Mississauga's Nathan Martine in the final five minutes of the Petes-IceDogs game last Saturday, and Ryder's sit-down was punishment for missing curfew.

Short on the blue-line with Frank Rediker back in London nursing a dislocated elbow, the Knights recalled rookie Andrew Wilkins from the London Nationals of the Western Junior B Hockey League, then turned to veteran forward Trevor Kell early in the game to patrol the back end.

"That was a surprise," Kell said. "I played defence to kill a five-on-three penalty and then (the coaches) just told me to stay back there. It might happen for a while with Frank out and I'll do whatever helps the team. This was a satisfying win. It feels pretty good."

Coming off his shutout in Belleville, London veteran goalie Adam Dennis kicked aside 35 shots for his 41st win.

The Knights are expected to start rookie Steve Mason, who stopped 52 shots in a 4-1 win over Peterborough at the John Labatt Centre Feb. 17, tonight in Ottawa against the 67's.

"Ottawa's a good team, too, and I'm looking forward to it," the 17-year-old Oakville native said. "I've been pretty happy with my past three games (wins over Mississauga, Kitchener and the Petes).

"I know I could get a chance to start two or three more games this season and that's what I'm looking for."

KNIGHTS 4, PETES 2

London goals: Jordan Foreman (2), Rob Schremp, and David Bolland, into the empty net

Peterborough goals: Liam Reddox, Fredrik Naslund

Next: The Knights continue their eastern Ontario road swing in Ottawa tonight against the 67's at the Civic Centre at 7:30 p.m.


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