Friday Knight

RYAN PYETTE, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:57 AM ET

London Knights (14-7-0-1) vs. Erie Otters (9-10-2-1)

Tonight, 7:30 p.m. at the John Labatt Centre

THE MATCHUP: The Knights beat the Otters in a snippy five-game first round playoff series last spring. There were a ton of hits from behind. The OHL told the teams to knock it off. The dividing glass between the benches at old Tullio Arena couldn't contain the bad blood.

WHO TO WATCH: Knights -- F Justin Taylor. Hardly anyone's scoring with consistency in London but the captain has three goals in his last three games. He's one of the guys who has to lead the way; Otters -- F Shawn Szydlowski. He's a royal pain to play against and brings optimum energy to the ice. He can be dangerous around the net too -- he had 23 goals last year and scored three in the London series.

SUPER SERIES: Knights forward Nazem Kadri served as an alternate captain for the OHL team's first game of the Canada-Russia Subway Super Series last night in Barrie. He and London goalie Michael Hutchinson are also on the roster for the Windsor stop on Monday. Former Knights first-rounder Christian Thomas, now in Oshawa, played last night. Knight Zac Rinaldo is slated to appear in the Windsor game.

NO LIAMBAS: It's getting on three weeks since the controversial Michael Liambas hit on Kitchener rookie Ben Fanelli. Since then, Liambas has been booted out for the rest of the season, Fanelli is home from hospital and the debate -- too harsh suspension? -- has raged on. The Otters are keeping Liambas's jersey in the dressing room (and his name on the roster on the team website). They've played well in November and reeled off four straight wins before losing to the Windsor Spitfires last Saturday. It didn't hurt that top goalie Jaroslav Janus returned from the AHL. He has game-stealing ability.

KNIGHTS IN CLASSROOM: What could be more fun than doing Grade 6 math? How about guys like Leigh Salters and Dominic DeSando showing up at your school, protractors in hand, to help out? The Knights just launched what they call "an exciting online math program" with the Thames Valley and London District Catholic boards and promise "various Knights making surprise visits to local Grade 6" classrooms throughout the season.

UNDER-17 MATES: Tonight, big Erie forward David Broll and London defenceman Scott Harrington will play against each other. But late next month in Timmins, they'll both represent Ontario in the quest for another gold medal at the World Under-17 Challenge.

NEW HUNTER ROLE: When Tucker Hunter left the Knights last week to concentrate on school, it left his dad Dale in a new situation. Since he went behind the bench in 2001, Dale had always coached one of his kids. Son Dylan played for the Knights from 2001-06. Tucker came to the club for parts of the 2006-07 season before assuming a regular roster spot along with cousin Garett in 2007-08.

ALUMNI UPDATE: Ex-Knights D John Carlson was recalled by the Washington Capitals from the AHL's Hershey Bears yesterday after posting 10 points and a plus-14 rating in 17 games this year. He's eligible to make his NHL debut tonight at home against Montreal

AFTER THE BUZZER: The Knights finish their season set with the Generals on Sunday at 6:05 p.m. in Oshawa. Then, they're back in Kitchener on Tuesday. The Otters are in Owen Sound tomorrow night and a Sunday afternoon tilt.


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