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It has been a while since we've had OHL playoff hockey

Russell and Coe only members of the Battalion to suit up for an OHL playoff game for the Troops in 2019
2019 brandon coe goal
Coe celebrates a goal in 2019. File photo by Tom Martineau/BayToday.

Battalion fans have waited a long for this. 

The Battalion hit the ice for Thursday's playoff home opener against the Ottawa 67's. 

Incredibly, thanks to COVID-19 the North Bay Battalion has not competed in a playoff game in 1,104 days, or three years and eight days to be exact. 

That last game, the Troops fell 4-0 to the IceDogs in St. Catharines on March 29, 2019.  

The only two members of the 2019 Battalion playoff team that fell in five games to the Niagara IceDogs, were overage forward Brandon Coe and Mitchell Russell. Russell was acquired in late December from the Owen Sound Attack in exchange for Adam McMaster in late December of 2018. That season, Kyle Jackson and now Montreal Canadiens prospect Joe Vrbetic got into OHL action as affiliate players in 2018-19 but did not get into any playoff action.

That year the IceDogs were led by trade deadline acquisition and now Dallas Stars sniper Jason Robertson who is already finishing his second full season in the NHL.   

It has been a while. 

That year, Ty Nelson was only playing major bantam - that's what it was still called back in 2019 as it's now called U15. 

That year Bob McIntyre, the Battalion super fan was still screaming "When I say Battalion, you say go!" using his megaphone to pump up the home crowd. 

Sadly, Bob passed away in the fall of 2020. 

That year Justin Brazeau wowed the crowd breaking the all-time single-season goal-scoring record with 61.  

It should be a loud building as the Troops hope to also welcome back the playoff version of the "7th Man" that build an impressive reputation during the two early playoff runs by the Battalion when they moved to North Bay in 2013.  


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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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