The Brampton Battalion are a junior ice hockey team in the Ontario Hockey League. Battalion Headquarters: Brampton Battalion Hockey Club, 7575 Kennedy Rd. South, Brampton, Ontario L6W 4T2 Phone: (905) 874-2393 Email: email@example.com
. Brampton native Stuart McComish has served as the Battalion's website co-ordinator since Februrary 2000. Visit the Brampton Battalion
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Brampton - The Brampton Battalion had a youth movement among the forward ranks pretty much forced on it in 2009-10.
Faced with the loss of significant offensive leaders from its Eastern Conference championship team of a year earlier, the Battalion got younger, finishing the season with six forwards in their first Ontario Hockey League campaign.
Among them were three players chosen in the 2009 OHL Priority Selection. Left winger Barclay Goodrow was the club’s first-round choice, while right winger Matt MacLeod was tabbed in the third round and centre Domenic Alberga in the fifth.
Their baptism of fire holds out the promise of dividends next season and beyond.
Goodrow, who turned 17 on Feb. 26, played all three forward positions in the course of 63 games. He contributed six goals and 13 assists for 19 points before adding four points, including one goal, in 11 playoff games. Goodrow also was part of the Ontario team that won silver at the World Under-17 Challenge at Timmins, Ont., in January.
“It’s a long season, and you really see how the work you do in the summer pays off as the season goes on,” said Goodrow, a resident of Aurora, Ont.
“There will be ups and downs during the season, but you have to stay positive. I’m used to the OHL now. It was tough coming in as a young guy and dealing with the speed and the bigger guys. I know what I’ll be up against next season.
“You can see why the Battalion produces so many great players, like Matt Duchene, Cody Hodgson and Wojtek Wolski. The coaches play the young guys here and let them develop.”
MacLeod, the youngest of the Troops, scored six goals and added 10 assists for 16 points in 57 games. In 10 playoff games, he produced one goal and three assists for four points.
“It was a lot of fun with a great group of guys,” said MacLeod, a native of Niagara Falls, Ont., who turns 17 on July 13. “They really made it easy to adjust. It was tough making the move, but it was a great experience. Having a lot of rookies on the team helped to make the adjustment easier. We were all going through it together.”
MacLeod, who lost four games to a hip injury in December, was determined to make the Battalion as a 16-year-old.
“I knew the team was losing a lot of guys, so I thought I’d have a good chance. I thought I had a good training camp, and the work I put in last summer paid off because I was in shape and ready to go.
“It was a great season to step in. The coaches gave us plenty of chances. A lot of rookies in the OHL don’t even play much, but for me to get the opportunities I got here was great.”
Alberga was the only 17-year-old whom the Battalion selected last May. He played 66 games, scoring five goals and adding 13 assists for 18 points, and contributed one goal and three assists for four points in 11 playoff games.
“It felt like a family here,” said Alberga, a Toronto native. “It took me a while to find my way. I was gripping the stick really tight. But then I got more comfortable.”
Alberga, who turns 18 on July 28, was chosen from the junior A Villanova Knights, with whom he had 14 goals and 26 assists for 40 points.
“It’s a lot different in the OHL from junior A. There’s much more skill here, but it was a great place to play. The coaches gave us all lots of opportunities. I’m more confident with the puck.
“There was plenty on my shoulders in junior A, since I was always on the first line. This season I was able to learn from the older guys rather than trying to do it all myself. All we can do next season is help tutor the younger guys.
“There was great leadership here from the older guys, and they all worked to make us better players. We all looked up to a guy like Hodgson and tried to follow him.”