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The Brampton Battalion of the Ontario Hockey League

February 06, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 150

The Brampton Battalion entered the Ontario Hockey League, along with the Mississauga IceDogs, for the 1998-99 season. The first year was predictably rough with the team winning only eight games and tying three over the 68 game OHL season. However, their season wasn't nearly as miserable as that of the IceDogs who won just four and tied three.

In fact, the IceDogs narrowly escaped being the worst Canadian Hockey League team of all time. The 1994-95 London Knights won just three to accompany their three ties.

Under the leadership of Stan Butler, the only head coach the Battalion have known to date, the Battalion improved to three games below.500 in just their second season. Butler came to the Battalion after having coached the OHL's Oshawa Generals for two seasons and the WHL's Prince George Cougars for one.

As a tribute to the developmental qualities of the Battalion organization, their original first overall draft pick, Jay Harrison, is still in the National Hockey League today as a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. The team has produced several other NHL players through their first thirteen years, including Brent Burns, Raffi Torres, Jason Spezza, Wojtek Wolski, Matt Duchene and Cody Hodgson.

Wolski, at this time, is what Gordie Howe is to the Detroit Red Wings, Wayne Gretzky is to the Edmonton Oilers or Phil Esposito is to the Boston Bruins. Wojtek is the face of Brampton's history in the OHL. He holds the team record for most goals, assists and points in a single season, all set during the 2005-06 season. Wolski is also the all-time career leader for those three categories as well as being the player with the third most games played all-time for the Battalion.

Over their first thirteen years, Brampton has finished first in the Eastern Conference's Central Division on four occasions. The most recent was in 2008-09 when the Battalion powered through the Eastern Conference playoffs only to fall to the mighty Windsor Spitfires in the Robertson Cup final. On five other occasions, Brampton has lost in the Eastern Conference semi-finals.

The Brampton Battalion play out of the Powerade Centre in Brampton, Ontario. The arena seats just under 5,000 fans and is barely a ten minute drive from the Hershey Centre, home of the Mississauga IceDogs. Despite the team's consistent success in the OHL and the close proximity of several million people in the Greater Toronto Area, the Battalion have had trouble filling their building for hockey games.

Tom is the author of (OHL Alumni Central). OHL Alumni Central is a daily updated blog featuring graduates of the Ontario Hockey League and their careers in professional hockey after leaving the OHL.

The centrepiece of is the OHL Alumni Big List. The Big List is an on-going database of the whereabouts of all the active OHL grads.

Source: EzineArticles
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Brampton Battalion


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Powerade Centre

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