Colts knock Knights off perch

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 10:06 AM ET

BARRIE -- The London Knights no longer own top spot in the OHL and injured Sam Gagner has company atop the league points parade.

Riding the wave of three straight regular season titles, the Knights got knocked off their lofty perch, losing 5-3 to the Eastern Conference-leading -- and now league-leading -- Barrie Colts before 3,964 last night at the Barrie Molson Centre.

Barrie got two goals -- including the third-period game-winner -- from star forward Bryan Little, who is now tied for the scoring lead with Gagner, who stayed in London nursing a sore groin.

"There's three or four teams in this league that have a chance to finish on top and I think we're going to get another shot at it -- there's still a long way to go," said Knights forward Josh Beaulieu. "But winning teams don't give up two goals early in the first period like we did. We have to prepare better, but we will and we'll come back and learn from our mistakes."

With goalie Steve Mason pulled in the final minute, Knights forward Rob Drummond was robbed when his point-blank wrist shot was snared by goalie Andrew Perugini. Former Sarnia forward Richard Clune scored an empty-netter and celebrated by doing a couple of push-ups in the corner, which infuriated some Knights.

"(NHL pest) Sean Avery is one of his favourite players and he did it a while back and we were saying he wouldn't do it the next time he scored -- and I guess he did," Little said. "We were excited. London has been on top of the league and we've only beaten them once in the past few years, so it was a big win."

London rookie forward Pat Kane, held goalless his previous five games, scored the Knights' first two goals, both in the second period. Many wondered how he'd perform without Gagner. Kane, at times, dominated the offensive end of the ice.

"It's tough when you're missing a guy like Sam," Kane said. "I was moved to centre from the wing so you're a little more involved in the play. I played centre at the U.S. world junior tryout camp, but I played wing the past few years and I don't really care where I am. I still feel I can help at any position."

Fireplug Jordan Foreman was helped off the ice in the third period after being elbowed in the head by Barrie's Ryan Gottschalk. Foreman wasn't in the dressing room immediately following the game.

"He's fine -- he just got shaken up a little bit," Beaulieu said.

As for Clune's theatrics, most of the Knights said they didn't see him, but they certainly had opinions about it afterward.

"I don't think we would do something like that if we beat Barrie in our barn and one of us scored an empty-netter like that," Kane said. "Barrie's a good team, really quick. But I guess it just proves what kind of organization the London Knights are when other teams do stuff like that when they beat them."

Beaulieu warned Clune that those kind of antics won't be appreciated when the Colts visit London on Dec. 29. "They have to come back to our place again and he won't be doing that there."

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GAME GLANCE

Colts 5, Knights 3

Barrie goals: Bryan Little (2), Matthew Bragg (2), Richard Clune

London goals: Pat Kane (2), Robbie Drummond

Next: The Knights head to Kitchener on Friday to face the Rangers at 7:30 p.m.


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