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BRAMPTON, Ont. – The Brampton Battalion, with a roster approaching flux, figures to have something of a fresh look when it visits the Belleville Bulls at 7:05 p.m. Wednesday in the first game of an Ontario Hockey League home-and-home series.
Left winger Connor Jarvis was expected to play for the first time since suffering a broken collarbone in exhibition action that sidelined him until he sat on the bench for the first period of a 4-3 overtime loss Monday to the visiting Mississauga Steelheads and then changed into street clothes.
Defenceman Kyle Wood, who has practised with the Troops while playing with the junior A Orangeville Flyers, has been recalled for the game at Belleville, while right winger Mitch Amante was reassigned to the junior B Leamington Flyers on Tuesday.
“He’ll play with us until we determine the severity of Marcus McIvor’s injury,” Stan Butler, director of hockey operations and head coach, said of Wood, a 16-year-old who was a third-round pick in the 2012 OHL Priority Selection.
Butler, whose charges have a won-lost-extended record of 2-3-2, was seeking further medical tests on rearguard McIvor, who has missed the last five games with a sore back.
The Battalion has made several roster changes since last Wednesday, when defenceman Spencer Abraham was traded to the Erie Otters. Centre Brennan Feasey was reassigned to the junior B Chatham Maroons after a 5-1 loss at Erie on Friday night. That game came several hours after right winger Brendan Childerley was landed on waivers from the Owen Sound Attack.
“I love it here so far,” said overager Childerley, who made a solid Battalion debut against Mississauga, assisting on a goal by centre Nicholas Foglia that tied the game 1-1 in the second period. The goal constituted Foglia’s first point since a June 1 trade from the Ottawa 67’s, and rookie defenceman Mark Raycroft drew the second assist for his first OHL point.
“The guys have been great with me, and so has the coaching staff,” said Childerley. “It’s really helped make everything easier by explaining how we do things here. It’s a great organization, and I’m really happy to be here.”
Childerley, a Stratford, Ont., resident who hadn’t played a game with Owen Sound this season, said the transition has gone smoothly.
“It was a bit of a whirlwind at first, but I packed up and took off to be here the next day. I got here early to meet everyone and get ready for my first practice with the guys. I’m still trying to learn some of the systems out there, but I’m hoping that will come with a little time and a couple of more practices.”
Said Childerley of his assist: “It was nice to come in and contribute offensively in my first game. I’m not a scorer, but it felt good to get my first point in my first game with the boys.”
The line of Childerley, centre Foglia and left winger Derek Froats showed immediate chemistry, starting with a dominant forechecking shift early in the game.
“I’ve played against Froats a little bit,” noted Childerley. “I know that we’ve been compared before, and I like the kind of player he is. He goes hard and is gritty. Foglia is a good centre to complement us. He’s fast and isn’t afraid to go into the dirty areas. Hopefully, we get to keep playing together.”
Childerley said he isn’t afraid to speak up in the dressing room or on the ice.
“I think I talk quite a bit in the room and on the bench. I didn’t know anyone coming in here, so I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes, but we’re going to get to know each other pretty well throughout the rest of the year, which will help me step up and be a leader.”
Amante, 17, who played two games with the Battalion last year without registering a point, had one assist in five games this season. He was a ninth-round pick in the 2011 OHL Priority Selection.
After Amante’s reassignment, the Battalion has 21 players on the roster, numbering 13 forwards, six defencemen and two goaltenders, with rearguard Wood in reserve.
The game at Belleville can be seen live in Brampton on Rogers Cable 10 and in Caledon and Orangeville on Rogers Cable 63. The Battalion hosts the Bulls at 7:30 p.m. Friday to complete the set.