Junior Hockey / News

Dale Hunter Reaches 800 OHL wins

Dale Hunter of the London Knights. Photo by Luke Durda/OHL Images

A 6-3 victory on Thursday night in Windsor gave the London Knights their ninth victory in 10 games and head coach Dale Hunter his 800th career victory in the Ontario Hockey League.

Hunter is the fastest coach to reach 800 wins and trails only Brian Kilrea (1193 victories) and the late Bert Templeton (907) on the all-time OHL wins list.

If you were watching as the final horn sounded, you would have had a hard time finding a hint that Hunter had reached another milestone. It was business as usual departing the bench.

“He doesn’t really get caught up [in numbers] like that,” said Knights assistant coach Dylan Hunter.
“I bet he wouldn’t even know if somebody didn’t bring it up. Day in and day out he just loves it. He watches games and he enjoys taking about [hockey].

“It’s not about the win column or where they place. For a lot of guys it’s just natural to want to be at the top; for him, it’s trying to find new things in the game.”

Dale Hunter got a salute from his players on the way home and took some time to reflect on the accomplishment.

“You feel a little old to begin with,” he said, smiling.

“A lot of good players have come through and I’m watching some of them like Rick Nash retire from the National Hockey League. When you get to a number [like this], you know you have had some good teams and good players.”

There seemed to be a little extra from his current players as they locked down a hard charging Windsor Spitfires team for much of the final period to preserve the win for their coach.

Even though the Knights scored six times, Dale Hunter pointed to what they did away from the Windsor net as being the difference.

“We played a sound defensive game,” he pointed out. “Everybody chipped in and we had solid goaltending and that helps out a lot.”

Brett Brochu made 33 saves in net and Luke Evangelista and Nathan Dunkley each scored a goal and added two assists.

The teams piled up 36 shots apiece and they reached a 6-3 outcome for the third time in four games against one another this season. The other game ended 4-2 and each team now has two victories in the season series with two games remaining in it.

London comes home on short rest to face Hamilton on Friday at 7:30 at Budweiser Gardens.

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