LONDON KNIGHTS (1-0) VS. MISSISSAUGA ST. MICHAEL'S MAJORS (1-0)
THE MATCHUP: Early battle of two teams expected to make push for the OHL final this year. The Knights will battle Windsor for the Western Conference crown while the Majors should go toe-to-toe with the Barrie Colts at the top of the Eastern.
WHO TO WATCH: Knights -- D Michael D'Orazio. London expects a more offensive slant to the burly bodychecker's game. Especially after dealing F Jason Wilson to Owen Sound for him and with Michael Del Zotto still with the New York Rangers; Majors -- F Rob Flick. The big Londoner got an assist in a 3-2 win over Brampton and comes in with a full year of OHL experience under his belt. He scored four goals in 48 games last year.
LOGO A NO-NO?: Not everyone likes the new-look Knights logo and Reebok EDGE jerseys introduced this season. In fact, a couple of fans have launched an on-line petition in protest of the sweater face-lift and urging the Hunters to go back to the old symbol worn last year. For more information or to express your opinion, go to www.ipetitions.com/petition/knightslogo
NO GRUDGE MATCH: No one will accuse Zac Rinaldo of playing hockey without emotion. But unlike last year when his trade from Mississauga was still fresh, the Knights forward said he feels nothing at all in facing his old Majors mates tonight. "I've moved on," the Philly Flyers prospect said. "They're just another team. It's not like when I faced them after the trade. You wanted to show them they made a mistake. You could see they were going to be good (this year) but I wasn't going to be happy there no matter what. I was being used in a one-dimensional role and I didn't see that changing. I thought I was more than a fourth-line energy guy and I'm looked at as more than that here in London. I kill penalties. I'm given a chance to score. It's a much better situation. I wish them (the Majors) well but they're nothing to me now."
DeMELO vs. WORRAD: They were defencemen drafted one pick apart last May. The Majors grabbed London Junior Knight Dylan DeMelo with the 34th overall pick in the second round of the draft. The Knights, who traded up for the 35th pick, took Elgin-Middlesex Chief Jake Worrad. Worrad made his Knights debut in last Friday's 4-2 win over Windsor. DeMelo is still looking for his first OHL game but he has already played for the Mississauga Chargers of the revamped Ontario Junior A league and just missed getting his stick into the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. DeMelo was originally credited with the first goal in the rebuilt league's history, but the tally was quickly corrected to teammate Jordan King. His stick and the puck ended up heading to the Hall.
THE WARREN FACTOR: With GM Mark Hunter on a scouting trip, jack-of-all-trades Dave Warren should be on the Knights bench tonight. Last year, the Londoner and longtime coach proved a lucky charm. He was there at least a dozen times and the only loss was a 3-2 overtime defeat at Barrie on Feb. 7. And he can't blame new Knights goalie Michael Hutchinson for that black mark -- Peter Di Salvo was in goal that night for the Colts.
JENNER VS. JENNER: In Plymouth last week, Dorchester brothers Leo and Boone Jenner faced each other when the Whalers beat the Oshawa Generals. Rookie forward Boone, Oshawa's first pick, scored twice but big Leo, the veteran Whalers defender, got the last laugh with a goal and assisted on the winner. Parents Matt and Terri were also on hand. It was their 22nd wedding anniversary.
AFTER THE BUZZER: Tomorrow, the Knights head to Plymouth, while Mississauga plays in Sarnia against the Sting.