Schremp content with less glory

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:03 AM ET

Rob Schremp will cruise to the OHL points title, but he is pretty close to kissing good-bye to all the glory given to the guy who scores the most goals.

The London star forward, who has bulged the twine 52 times this season, admits he's in for an icy uphill skate to catch Knights teammate David Bolland's league- leading 56 tallies with three regular-season games to go and both players expected to log drastically reduced ice time this weekend.

Losing the goal-scoring race could be an ego blow for an explosive player known for his big shot and willingness to showcase it, but Schremp feels it's better business for Bolland to cash in.

"I've already signed a contract (with Edmonton), so I'm not worried about goals and points. But he hasn't signed yet (with Chicago) and his numbers this year are going to help him in doing that," Schremp said after signing autographs for two hours at Northland Mall yesterday. "I probably won't catch David now in goals, but I couldn't care less or be more happy for him. He's having an unbelievable season."

Schremp recently went through a rare three-game goal drought, playing the past few weeks with his ankle taped. He was seen limping again on the ice against Owen Sound and London head coach Dale Hunter has vowed to rest some of his players with "bumps and bruises."

"It'll be ready for playoffs," Schremp said. "Whatever the coaches decide, it doesn't really matter to me. If I play all three games, I'll be in there. If they give me three days off, that's fine, too. Right now, it's all about getting ready for the playoffs."

London, which has won 13 straight, knows there's a chance its trio of weekend games will be rendered meaningless in the postseason

picture. Windsor can clinch the seventh seed in the Western Conference if it beats last-place Sarnia at home tomorrow night, which will guarantee a London-Sault Ste. Marie first-round matchup to start next week.

Once the matchup is set, the teams can finalize the schedule for the best-of-seven series.

"The playoffs always have the same kind of feeling," Schremp said. "Right now, it feels like we've been playing playoff hockey for the past 10, 12 games trying to clinch first place overall and stay ahead of Peterborough."

London still has one more team goal to achieve -- 50 wins for the third consecutive season -- but plenty of Knights are still shooting for some personal milestones.

Schremp needs two more points for 300 with London, while Dylan Hunter needs three points to pass Dennis Maruk (370) for fourth on the Knights' career scoring list.

"It's not like we don't care about stats, but some of them are overblown," Schremp said. "That's not our focus.

"We don't want to be ridiculous about it (the personal stats)," Dale Hunter said. "We want to allow some of our young guys to get more ice time. We haven't been able to get a good look at them because of the way I like to use my top-end guys. Whoever we dress, they're going to play hard -- and they're going to play to win because they have something to prove. "

Even if his team drops all three games, Hunter will get plenty of consideration for an unprecedented third straight OHL coach of the year nod.

London's nominee for OHL player of the year will likely be Schremp, although he agreed these Knights were far from a one-man show.

"It'd be tough (to pick)," Schremp said of his personal choice. "David (Bolland). (Adam) Dennis. Dylan (Hunter). You can make a case for every one of those guys."

Those key players won't see as much ice as they're used to this weekend.

Now, all the Knights are hoping for is the John Labatt Centre ice surface has a chance to relax and catch up for the beginning of their playoff run.

"In fairness, there has been a game or a concert almost every night since the curling (ended)," Dale Hunter said. "It just needs some time to come back -- and I know it will."

KNIGHTWATCH

Friday: vs. Windsor, 7:30 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre

Saturday: at Erie, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday: vs. Kitchener, 6 p.m. at the JLC


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