Foreman spark ignites Knights

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 9:31 AM ET

BRAMPTON -- Six games into his return from a broken bone in his left foot, Jordan Foreman has that old spark back in his skating stride.

The 19-year-old fireplug forward from Cambridge posted a goal and season-high four points, including gorgeous set-ups on two Robbie Drummond short-handed goals, as the London Knights outlasted the Brampton Battalion 7-5 before 2,563 yesterday afternoon.

Foreman, who entered the match with only a goal and three points in his first five games, grabbed all four of his points in the second period as the Knights scored five times in a wild, eight-goal middle frame.

"I feel now like I'm back in game shape and that's the biggest thing when you're trying to come back from an injury like that," the fiesty five-foot-nine, 185-pounder said. "It always takes some time to get the timing back and I think I have that now. I'm hoping I can contribute like that on a regular basis."

Foreman, a 29-goal scorer last season and a fan favourite for his spirited physical play, missed all of training camp and the first three games this year after injuring himself during a dryland training session in a field by his hometown YMCA. Many felt he was impatient in rushing back into the lineup so early after such a troubling injury, especially since the Knights had been winning without him.

But Foreman is true to his character on the ice and has never been the kind of player to err on the side of caution.

"It was healed, he was cleared and he wanted to come back so we put him in," London head coach Dale Hunter said. "He could've done more conditioning, but he wanted to play. It takes a while to get in game shape, but the coach notices when a guy's working hard and that's why Jordan and Josh (Beaulieu) got extra minutes (yesterday)."

Foreman and Beaulieu are part of London's "old" guard -- Memorial Cup champions and three-time league champs who have no idea what it's like to lose in the OHL. Though much attention has been placed on the early scoring exploits of the Knights' young guns like Sam Gagner and Pat Kane, the team wouldn't have beaten the Battalion and remained the league's last unbeaten road crew (4-0) without the veterans' scoring skills.

"It's nice to produce because I think teams can underestimate how many lines we have that can score," Foreman said. "You're looking to have four lines who can go out there at any time and score. Dale's always been good at seeing who is having a good game and getting them extra shifts."

But with extra ice time comes more opportunities for danger and London held its breath when Foreman went down in pain after blocking a shot during a penalty kill.

"It hit my left foot but luckily it didn't hit it right on," Foreman said with a grin. "The foot is better. It wasn't 100 per cent (at first), but it's healed and I'm not worrying about it any more."

Drummond couldn't say enough of the gift-wrapped passes Foreman gave him for the short-handed goals that proved to be the difference in London bouncing back from a 5-2 loss to Owen Sound on Friday. The Knights have won nine of their first 11 games and have just started a stretch where they will play six of eight on the road.

"We want to prove to teams we can beat them on the road or at our place because that's the mark of a successful team," the London captain said. "Those short-handed goals (London's first two of the season) are important because they're so unexpected. I think they (Brampton) went on the power play and they sat back a little bit too much and we went after it."

GAME GLANCE

Knights 7, Battalion 5

London goals: Robbie Drummond (2), Sergei Kostitsyn (2), Sam Gagner, Josh Beaulieu, Jordan Foreman

Brampton goals: Matt Auffrey (2), Graham McNabb, Matt Smyth, Luke Lynes

Next: London is in Kitchener tomorrow to face the Rangers at 7 p.m.


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