North Bay Battalion
Hockey is more than just a sport in Canada and the United States; it’s a way of life. From the passionate fans in the stands to the dedicated players on the ice, hockey is deeply ingrained in the cultures of these two countries. And when it comes to minor hockey, the North Bay Battalion has carved out a special place for itself in the hearts of fans and players alike.
With a rich history dating back to 1998, the North Bay Battalion has become a dominant force in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). Over the years, the team has captured the hearts of fans with its high-octane gameplay, fierce determination, and remarkable championship runs. So, let’s take a closer look at the historic seasons of this beloved team and relive some of their greatest moments of glory.
Rise to Prominence: 1998–2001
The North Bay Battalion may have been a relatively new team in the OHL, but it wasted no time in establishing itself as a fierce contender. In just their third season, the Battalion made it to the OHL finals, falling short to the Plymouth Whalers. However, this was just the beginning of their journey to greatness.
The following year, the Battalion made a stunning comeback and clinched their first Robertson Cup, the OHL championship trophy, defeating the Barrie Colts in a thrilling seven-game series. The team was led by an impressive lineup of players, including future NHL star Adam Henrique. This victory not only marked the first championship for the North Bay Battalion but also firmly put them on the map as a top-tier team in the league.
The Repeat: 2014-15
After a decade of hard-fought battles, the North Bay Battalion finally made it back to the OHL finals in 2014–15. This time, they were facing off against the heavily favored Oshawa Generals, who boasted the league’s best record. Despite the odds stacked against them, the battalion swept the series in four games to claim their second Robertson Cup.
The team was led by another future NHL star, Nick Paul, and had an outstanding goaltending performance by Jake Smith. The victory was especially sweet for Paul, who had been drafted by the Generals but was traded to the Battalion in the middle of the season. This back-to-back championship run firmly cemented the North Bay Battalion as a team with a winning culture.
Defying the Odds: 2018-19
After a few years of playoff disappointments, the North Bay Battalion once again rose to the challenge in the 2018-19 season. Facing off against the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL finals, the battalion had their work cut out for them. The 67’s were a powerhouse team, boasting a record-breaking 50-win season. But the Battalion refused to be intimidated and fought tooth and nail to claim their third Robertson Cup in a stunning seven-game series.
This victory was a true testament to the resiliency and never-give-up attitude of the North Bay Battalion. It was also a defining moment for head coach Stan Butler, who has been with the team since its inception. With this third championship, the Battalion joined an elite group of OHL teams that have won three or more titles.
The Legacy Continues: 2019-present
While the North Bay Battalion has yet to add another championship to their impressive record, the team continues to be a dominant force in the OHL. Under the leadership of coach Butler, the Battalion boasts a strong roster of players, including current NHL prospect Ty Dellandrea and standout forward Brandon Coe. Even though the team has gone through some ups and downs in recent years, its commitment to excellence and determination to win remain unwavering.
Minor Hockey Talk: Join the Conversation
As we look back at the historic seasons of the North Bay Battalion, one thing becomes abundantly clear: this is a team that has captured the hearts of its fans with its unwavering commitment to success. From their early days of rise to prominence to their latest championship in 2018-19, the North Bay Battalion has truly cemented its legacy as a team to be reckoned with in the OHL.
Now, it’s your turn to join the conversation and share your thoughts on the history and future of this dynamic team. Jump into the Minor Hockey Talk forum and discuss everything about hockey, from Canada to the USA and beyond. Let’s come together as passionate fans and celebrate our love for the sport and the teams that make it all worthwhile.