|League:||Ontario Hockey League|
|Founded:||December 3, 1996|
|Home Arena:||Powerade Centre|
|Colours:|| Olive, yellow, black and white |
|Head Coach:||Stan Butler|
|General Manager:||Stan Butler|
|Affiliate(s):|| Bramalea Blues|
The Brampton Battalion were granted an expansion franchise on December 3, 1996. Major Junior A hockey had returned to Brampton since 1963, when the Brampton 7Ups played in the Metro Junior A League before returning to the Junior B level.
Brampton was part of the return of major junior hockey to the Greater Toronto Area in the late 1990s that included the Mississauga IceDogs and the revived Toronto St. Michael's Majors. In 2005, team owner Scott Abbott was inducted into the Brampton Sports Hall of Fame for his work in building the franchise.
The Battalion name was chosen from community suggestions, and was also adopted by the competitive minor hockey program. Brampton is covered by local television Rogers Community Cable 10, and the local newspaper, The Brampton Guardian. The Battalion's secondary school educational programs are co-ordinated through Turner Fenton Secondary School.
Early days in the west
The Battalion began play for the 1998–99 OHL season in the Midwest Division of the Western Conference. The Battalion played their first game on September 24, 1998 losing to the host Peterborough Petes by a 5-1 score. Jason Maleyko scored the first goal in club history. The Battalion played their first game at the Powerade Centre on October 9, 1998 losing to the Kitchener Rangers by a score of 5-1. The first win in club history would come on October 18 when the troops beat the visiting Sudbury Wolves 5-4. The first season on the ice didn't go so well however as the Battalion finished the season with only 8 wins, 57 losses, and 3 ties for last in the Western Conference and 19th in the league ahead of only the Mississauga Ice Dogs.
The 1999–2000 season was much better for the Battalion as they finished with a 25-29-14 record, good enough for a 3rd place finish in the Midwest Division and 7th in the Western Conference which gave them their first ever trip to the post season. The Battalion won their first ever playoff game vs the Erie Otters with a 5-2 score. However, the 2nd place Otters proved to be too strong and Erie took the series in 6 games.
The 2000–01 season proved to be the first season in club history that the team would score a record above the .500 mark with a final tally of 33-22-13 for a 3rd place finish in the Midwest Division and 5th in the Western Conference. The Battalion would take on the 4th place Guelph Storm in the first round of the playoffs and came out on top by sweeping the Storm in 4 games for the first playoff series win in club history. The win in game 4 is still the only time to date in club history that the Battalion have clinched a playoff series on home ice. In round 2 for the second straight year the Troops took on the 1st place Erie Otters. After the Troops took game 1 the Otters would win four in a row and win the series in five games.
The Battalion fell back to below the .500 mark in the 2001–02 season posting a 26-35-7 record for last in the Division and Conference as the team missed the playoffs for the 2nd time in 4 years.
Move to the Eastern Conference
During the 2002 off season the North Bay Centennials were bought and moved to Saginaw, Michigan to become the Spirit and thus leaving the East and West unbalanced so the Battalion were moved to the Eastern Conference and given North Bay’s former spot in the Central Division. Once again the Battalion surged above the .500 mark finishing with a 34-24-10 record good enough to win their first Division Championship in franchise history beating the Toronto St. Michaels Majors by only 2 points. During the 2003 playoffs the Battalion started what would eventually become a rivalry with the Barrie Colts defeating the Colts in the first round in six games. The second round would see the top two in the Division as the Battalion faced Toronto. Brampton started off the series well beating Toronto in game 1 by a 7-0 score. However Toronto eventually proved to much for Brampton as the Majors would win four straight and take the series in only 5 games.
The Battalion didn’t fare to well during the 2003–04 regular season as their record fell to 25-32-11. However the record was good enough for 7th in the east and a first round matchup with a heavily favored Ottawa 67’s team who had won the East Division. With their backs towards the wall the Battalion shocked many as they took the 67’s to seven games, winning game 7 and the series in Ottawa and advancing to the 2nd round. For the second straight year in round 2 the Battalion would have to face the Eastern Conference Champions, the Toronto St.Michaels Majors. This time the Majors jumped out to a 3-0 series lead. Brampton was able to win 1 game to force a 5th but that was as far as they would get as the Majors won the series in five.
During the 2004–05 season the Battalion stood tall as they became part of a huge race involving several teams to not only win the Central Division Title but the Eastern Conference Championship as well. Despite posting a good 33-24-11 record, Brampton would lose the race to the Mississauga Ice Dogs and finish 3rd in the central and 4th in the conference setting up a first round match up with the Sudbury Wolves. The series with the Wolves was an intense one. The Wolves took the first two games including one in overtime. Brampton clawed their way back however in game 6 in Sudbury the Battalion were on the brink of elimination. The game went to double overtime with the Wolves scoring a Powerplay goal to end Brampton’s season.
Curse vs the Colts
The 2005–06 season would become the best season in club history however the season didn’t start off that way. After a somewhat mediocre start the club by mid February had climbed to a record of 30-21-1-2. With 14 games remaining on the schedule the Battalion would have to win every single game to even have a shot at the Division Championship, so that’s exactly what they did. The Battalion would win the last 14 games of the regular season to establish a franchise record for straight wins (a record that eventually fell during the 2008–09 season) to finish the season with a record of 44-21-1-2 and beating the Barrie Colts to win the Central Division Championship by only 1 single point. In the first round of the playoffs the Battalion knocked off the Belleville Bulls in six games before having to face the Barrie Colts in round 2. Before the series started everybody expected it to be a long and great series. In the first 2 games the teams traded 4-1 wins before the flood gates opened and the Colts took control of the series. In game 3 the Colts took a dominating 6-1 win before destroying Brampton in game 4 11-2. Game 5 was much closer but the Colts still took the game 3-2 and the series in only five games and thus beginning the Battalion’s Curse of the Colts.
With several key players like future NHL star Wojtek Wolski, Luch Aquino and Daren Machesney gone the team slumped in the 2006–07 season barely making the playoffs with a 27-36-1-4 record, only good enough for the last playoff spot (8th) in the East. During the 1st round they would have to go up against the #1 Barrie Colts who still had most of their players from the previous season’s series. Brampton was able to keep most games close but Barrie kept coming out on top. In game 4 on home ice the Battalion on the brink of elimination had a 4-1 lead mid way through the third period and appeared to be on their way to a win before the Colts scored 3 goals in less than 7 minutes to force overtime. In OT it took the Colts only 5 minutes to score and thus end the series in 4 straight games.
The 2007–08 season saw the team celebrate their 10th season of OHL hockey and the fans saw a great team on the ice as things went much better for the Battalion, with sophomore centre Cody Hodgson, rookie forward Matt Duchene, and veteran winger John Hughes the team posted several wins finishing with a 42-22-1-3 record, just shy of the club record of 91 points set in 05–06. During the season the Battalion had their first 10 goal game in club history as on September 23 the host Battalion beat up on the Sudbury Wolves 10-2. For the 3rd time in 6 years the team took home the Central Division Championship. In the first round the Battalion once again were set to face the Barrie Colts, who this season had lost many of their key players and had only finished 7th in the east. With Brampton heavily favored to win the series the Colts shocked as Barrie won the first two games by 2-1 and 3-2(OT) scores. The Battalion were able to come back and win game 3 by a score of 5-1 however the Colts would continue to stand behind the absolutely amazing goaltending of Michael Hutchinson in game 4 winning 2-1 in overtime. With Brampton on the brink of elimination on home ice in game 5 Hutchinson stood tall again as the Colts won the game 2-0 and upset the Battalion in only five games. For the 3rd straight year Brampton had been eliminated by the Barrie Colts.
In 10 full seasons of OHL hockey the Battalion have a regular season record of 297-301-52-21-9 (W-L-T-OTL-SL) in 680 games.
2008–09 - Run to the finals
After 3 straight years of being knocked out of the playoffs by the Colts the Battalion built up a roster to make a deep run in 2008/2009. Brampton got off to a slow 2-6 start but with the return of Cody Hodgson and the addition of Evgeny Grachev the Troops went on a run of 16 straight wins setting a new franchise record for straight wins. The streak was the longest that any team achieved during the 08/09 regular season. Brampton also set a record of 12 straight home wins from October to December (another franchise record). During December Battalion forwards Cody Hodgson and Evgeny Grachev represented their respective countries (Canada and Russia) at the World Junior Hockey Championships in Ottawa. Grachev helped team Russia to a Bronze medal while Hodgson set a tournament high 16 points to lead Canada to its 5th straight Gold Medal.
After the tournament Brampton added more to their roster acquiring all star goaltender Thomas McCollum (who had also played for his home country of U.S.A. at the World Juniors), defenceman Josh Day, and forwards, Anthony Peluso, Matt Kang and Andrew Merrett. Brampton would enjoyed another long 12 game winning streak in January and February. At the end of the regular season Brampton would finish with a franchise record for wins in a season with 47 and points with 96. Brampton also set a franchise low for losses in a season with just 19 as Brampton finished in 2nd place in the Eastern Conference just 1 point behind the Belleville Bulls. Brampton however finished 1st in the Central Division for the 2nd straight season and the 3rd time in 4 years.
In the first round of the playoffs the Battalion would defeat the Peterborough Petes in 4 straight games for just the second sweep in franchise history (Guelph 2001 was the other). As Brampton advanced to the second round they would face the Mississauga St.Michaels Majors. It was the first time Brampton and Mississauga had ever faced each other in the post season. Brampton would come out on top in the Battle of Peel Region taking the series in 6 games to make it past the 2nd round in the first time in franchise history. Brampton would face the #1 Belleville Bulls in the Eastern Conference final. Despite Belleville holding home ice advantage Brampton would jump out to a 2-0 series lead with 4-1 and 7-2 wins. Belleville would win game 3 before Brampton took game 4 with a come from behind 4-3 win. Brampton had the opportunity to advance in game 5 in Belleville however the Bulls would win in double overtime on home ice to force a 6th game in Brampton. In the sixth game the Bulls held a 3-2 advantage after 2 periods however on the strength of a Matt Duchene hat trick and two goals by Cody Hodgson the Battalion would win the game 7-4 for their first ever Conference championship and advance to the OHL Finals.
Brampton would take on the Windsor Spitfires in the Finals. Game 1 was a disaster as Windsor destroyed Brampton 10-1. Windsor would also take game 2 by a 5-3 score before Brampton finally won in game 3 in Windsor 4-2. However Windsor would win game 4 in Brampton 4-1. Game 5 in Windsor went to overtime however the Spits would score a power play goal to win the game 2-1 and win the OHL Championship ending the Battalion’s long season.
After it was all over Battalion import Evgeny Grachev was named OHL rookie of the year. Matt Duchene collected Scholastic Player of the Year honors, while Cody Hodgson named the OHL’s most Sportsmanlike player and Most Outstanding Player. Hodgson then collected CHL Player Of The Year honors, the first Battalion player to ever receive the award. Finally in June Matt Duchene was chosen 3rd overall in the NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Avalanche.
Central Division Champions
- 2002–03, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2008–09
Bobby Orr Trophy Eastern Conference Champions
Stan Butler has been the only head coach and general manager in club history. He was appointed to the position in August 1997. He is currently the second longest serving coach with the same team, second only to Brian Kilrea. Butler previously coached the Oshawa Generals, Prince George Cougars, and the Canada's National Under 18 team.
- 1998 – Jay Harrison Jack Ferguson Award, First overall draft pick
- 1999–00 – Rostislav Klesla CHL Top Draft Prospect Award
- 2005–06 – Wojtek Wolski William Hanley Trophy, Most Sportsmanlike Player
- 2005–06 – Wojtek Wolski Red Tilson Trophy, Most Outstanding Player
- 2008–09 - Evgeny Grachev Emms Family Award, Rookie of the Year
- 2008–09 - Cody Hodgson William Hanley Trophy, Most Sportsmanlike Player
- 2008–09 - Matt Duchene Bobby Smith Trophy, OHL Scholastic Player of the Year
- 2008–09 - Cody Hodgson Red Tilson Trophy, Most Outstanding Player
- 2008-09 - Cody Hodgson CHL Player Of The Year
The Brampton Battalion have 11 alumni that have graduated to play in the National Hockey League.
- Brent Burns
- Brian Finley
- Jay Harrison
- Rostislav Klesla
- Kamil Kreps
- Jay McClement
- Raffi Torres
- Wojtek Wolski
- Phil Oreskovic
- Michael Vernace
- Matt Duchene
as of January 18th, 2010.
|Number||Player||Glove||Acquired||NHL Draft||Place of birth|
|1||Patrick Killeen||L||2006 OHL Draft||PIT 2008||Carp, Ontario|
|30||Jacob Riley||L||2009 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2011||London, Ontario|
|Number||Player||Shoots||Acquired||NHL Draft||Place of birth|
|2||Ken Peroff||R||2005 OHL Draft||Undrafted||Chisholm Township, Ontario|
|3||Kyle Pereira||L||2007 OHL Draft||Undrafted||Brampton, Ontario|
|4||Ben Alavie||R||2006 OHL Draft||Undrafted||Richmond Hill, Ontario|
|5||Matt Clark||R||2006 OHL Draft||ANA 2009||Campbellville, Ontario|
|6||Brad Albert||L||2005 OHL Draft||Undrafted||Nepean, Ontario|
|7||Zach Bell||R||2009 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2011||Brampton, Ontario|
|8||Cameron Wind||R||2008 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Barrie, Ontario|
|Number||Player||Shoots||Position||Acquired||NHL Draft||Place of birth|
|10||Philip Lane||R||RW||2008 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Rochester, New York|
|11||Scott Tanski||R||RW||2006 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Burlington, Ontario|
|12||Craig Moore||L||LW||2007 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Orleans, Ontario|
|14||Thomas Stajan||L||C||Trade OS in Sept. 2007||Free Agent||Mississauga, Ontario|
|16||Sam Carrick||R||C||2008 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Stouffville, Ontario|
|17||Sean Jones||L||LW||Trade ER in Aug 2009||Eligible in 2010||Toronto, Ontario|
|18||Stephon Thorne||L||LW||2006 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Mississauga, Ontario|
|19||Cody Hodgson||R||C||2006 OHL Draft||VAN 2008||Markham, Ontario|
|21||Domenic Alberga||L||C||2009 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Vaughan, Ontario|
|22||Shane Kinsella||R||RW||2007 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Toronto, Ontario|
|23||Barclay Goodrow||L||LW||2009 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Aurora, Ontario|
|24||Matt MacLeod||R||RW||2009 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2011||Niagara Falls, Ontario|
|26||Alex O'Neil||L||LW||2008 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Kemptville, Ontario|
|27||Ian Watters||L||LW||2008 OHL Draft||Eligible in 2010||Pickering, Ontario|
|Team records for a single season|
|Most goals for||272||2005–06|
|Least goals for||167||2009–10|
|Least goals against||181||2009–10|
|Most goals against||362||1998–99|
|Individual player records for a single season|
|Most goals||Wojtek Wolski||47||2005–06|
|Most assists||Wojtek Wolski||81||2005–06|
|Most points||Wojtek Wolski||128||2005–06|
|Most points, rookie||Evgeny Grachev||80||2008–09|
|Most points, defenceman||Michael Vernace||72||2005–06|
|Best GAA, goalie||Thomas McCollum||2.11||2008–09|
|Goalies = minimum 1500 minutes played|
Legend: OTL = Overtime loss, SL = Shootout loss
|Season||Games||Won||Lost||Tied||OTL||SL||Points||Pct %|| Goals|
- 1998–1999 Out of playoffs.
- 1999–2000 Lost to Erie Otters 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
- 2000–2001 Defeated Guelph Storm 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
Lost to Erie Otters 4 games to 1 in conference semi-finals.
- 2001–2002 Out of playoffs.
- 2002–2003 Defeated Barrie Colts 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
Lost to St. Michael's Majors 4 games to 1 in conference semi-finals.
- 2003–2004 Defeated Ottawa 67's 4 games to 3 in conference quarter-finals.
Lost to St. Michael's Majors 4 games to 1 in conference semi-finals.
- 2004–2005 Lost to Sudbury Wolves 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
- 2005–2006 Defeated Belleville Bulls 4 games to 2 in conference quarter-finals.
Lost to Barrie Colts 4 games to 1 in conference semi-finals.
- 2006–2007 Lost to Barrie Colts 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
- 2007–2008 Lost to Barrie Colts 4 games to 1 in conference quarter-finals.
- 2008–2009 Defeated Peterborough Petes 4 games to 0 in conference quarter-finals.
Defeated Mississauga St.Michaels Majors 4 games to 2 in conference semi-finals.
Defeated Belleville Bulls 4 games to 2 in conference finals.
Lost to Windsor Spitfires 4 games to 1 in Finals.
- 2009-2010 Defeated Kingston Frontenacs 4 games to 3 in conference quarter-finals.
Lost to Barrie Colts 4 games to 0 in conference semi-finals.
Uniforms and logos
The Battalion's uniform is primarily an army-like shade of olive green. The shoulders feature black bars, with white outlining, this is then further outlined in black. Evenly between the shoulder and elbow lie three military-style chevrons, connoting rank (here, sergeant) completing armed forces theme.
The logo itself, featuring their mascot, Sarge, gritting his teeth is also army olive green, a mix of yellow and beige, white, fleshish pinky-orange, black, and red. The name Battalion, emblazoned on their uniform is pure red, and is created in a way that it looks three-dimensional.
- Uniform Colours: Olive Green, Yellow, Black and White
- Logo Design: "A militant with an army hat with Battalion under the militant."
The Brampton Battalion was also a series of comics created and produced by Kevin J. Johnston. The characters were designed to be fun-loving and politically correct, and included all ages, sizes and races.
The comics appeared as four page shorts in the game-day programs and in the local newspaper, and their images were on the back of souvenir t-shirts. The stories depicted mascots the other Ontario Hockey League franchises as the antagonists in humorous situations.
The Brampton Battalion play out of the Powerade Centre, which was formerly known as the "Brampton Centre for Sports & Entertainment." It is located on Kennedy Road, on the south-side of the city near the 407 ETR. This facility has one main arena, as well as three full size practice rinks on the north-east side, many baseball diamonds as part of the complex. Also a full sized outdoor rink was added to the south side of the complex in the summer of 2008.
- Powerade Centre - The OHL Arena & Travel Guide
- Capacity = 4,980
- Ice Size = 200' x 85'
Many Battalion fans, as well as the local media (Brampton Guardian, Rogers Cable 10), often affectionately refer to the team's home rink as The Bunker.
- www.battalionhockey.com Official web site
- Ontario Hockey League Official web site
- Canadian Hockey League Official web site
- "1", Brampton Sports Hall of Fame, Scott Abbott, retrieved May 18, 2006.
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