Knights fill IceDogs net

RYAN PYETTE -- London Free Press

, Last Updated: 7:55 AM ET

MISSISSAUGA -- They may get outshot, outskated and sometimes outhustled, but the London Knights rarely get outscored and that's why they're one of the top teams again in the OHL.

Forwards Jordan Foreman and David Meckler each scored twice as the Knights won their fourth game in a row and jumped back into first overall with a 7-5 victory over the Mississauga IceDogs before about 1,400 fans last night at the Hershey Centre.

For Meckler, the two goals marked his sixth multi-goal game. He still doesn't have a hat trick and appears snakebit in that category, the way former Knights goalie Adam Dennis was in the shutout department last year.

"I'm not complaining," said the 19-year-old Highland Park, Ill., native. "Special teams are a big part of this and we did well on the power play (three-for-eight) and killed the penalties we took. We came out a little sluggish, but Jordan Foreman provided a spark and he woke us up with his hustle and he got a couple of goals. That's good leadership."

Foreman could have had another three if his high shots had found the net instead of the glass. Like his four-point performance against Brampton last month, he skated hard, made a pest of himself and chipped in offensively.

"The puck seemed to follow me around out there and I tried to take advantage of my chances," said the 19-year-old Cambridge native. "We've had some slow starts and I don't know the reason. Maybe we're a come-from-behind team. Maybe we like to give the fans a show. But that's the way we have been lately and it's working."

Foreman, who played his second game after sitting out two last weekend with a concussion, also ignited some late-game fireworks, knocking IceDogs forward Cody Bass onto Knights goalie Steve Mason after the Ottawa Senators prospect scored to make it 6-5 with 1:16 left in the third period.

Mason attacked Bass, who got a roughing penalty along with Foreman and Josh Beaulieu as the Knights finished short-handed.

But Mississauga pulled goalie Andrew Loverock and Sam Gagner, the OHL's leading scorer, buried the empty-netter to put the game away.

"I was upset because the (Bass) goal was my fault," Foreman said. "I grew up playing some summer hockey with him and I was just frustrated there. It worked out O.K."

London's 2006 first rounder Phil McRae finally snapped a 17-game pointless streak to start his OHL career by bagging an assist on Foreman's second goal.

"It's nice to see because he's been working hard and playing well for us all year," Foreman said. "He deserved a point and I'm glad it happened for him."

Londoner Jordan Skellett, Mississauga's first-rounder in 2005, torched his hometown team with a third-period tally -- his second of the season -- to pull the IceDogs within one.

After beating Guelph in a shootout on Sunday, goalie Stephane Cesar solidified his roster spot as London's backup puckstopper. That doesn't mean he'll remain with the team every game because London GM Mark Hunter still wants him to stay sharp with the Petrolia Jets of the Western Ontario Hockey League.

"We want him to get playing time but there's no doubt he's our No. 2," Mark Hunter said. "He has proved that."

London defenceman Todd Perry played last night and doesn't face additional discipline from the OHL for his knee check on Kitchener's Kevin Henderson that resulted in a match penalty. The over-age defenceman played in Guelph on Sunday and said he would be relieved when the incident was no longer hanging over his head.

"I let Mark and Dale (Hunter) worry about that stuff -- I'm just worried about playing in the next game," Perry said.

Lately, London been playing every game with a sense of calm and confidence that is a trademark of most winning teams. The Knights were outshot 43-27 in the game and, while trailing 3-2 in the second period, faced a pivotal five-on-three disadvantage for over a minute. They killed it, then struck for two goals in 1:17 to gain their first lead of the game heading into the third period.

"We're starting to get that feeling that we have a team that can do things like we did last year and maybe even better," London forward Adam Perry said. "Like last year, we came together quickly this year and everyone's getting along. That's one of the most important things that can happen for a hockey team."

The Knights waived six-foot-three defenceman Mike Noyes yesterday and the Lucan native has landed with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League's struggling Saint John (New Brunswick) Sea Dogs, who are coached by former Knights assistant Jacques Beaulieu.

Adam Perry, who has twice as many goals as assists so far this season, can't explain the statistical anomoly. He still practises his shot every day after practice by firing 50-60 pucks at the net.

"I'm throwing the puck around out there -- we're passing it around pretty well," Perry said. "We have a lot of playmakers on our team and whoever's at the end of it just finishes it."

Sam Gagner will face his former Toronto Marlies teammate and buddy John Tavares when the Oshawa Generals visit the John Labatt Centre tomorrow night.

GAME GLANCE

Knights 7, IceDogs 5

London goals: Sergei Kostitsyn, Jordan Foreman (2), David Meckler (2), Adam Perry, Sam Gagner

Mississauga goals: Michael Swift, Chris Lawrence, Cody Bass (2), Jordan Skellett

Next: The Knights come home to face John Tavares and the Oshawa Generals tomorrow nightg at 7:30 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre.


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